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Minnesota reports 15 sites with avian flu infections

Morrison and Kandiyohi counties report additional sites Tuesday.

Breeding turkeys on a farm.
A fourth commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County has been confirmed infected with avian flu. That brings the total sites in Minnesota to 15, according to the April 5 report from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
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WILLMAR, Minn. — A fourth commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County is confirmed infected with avian influenza, one of two additional sites in Minnesota identified Tuesday in the state Board of Animal Health's daily web update.

The diagnosis of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed April 4 in the flock of 20,450 breeder hens in Kandiyohi County. The infection of 34,000 meat turkeys in Morrison County, the second infection site in that county, also was confirmed April 4 and reported Tuesday.

Tuesday's update from the Board of Animal Health showed that a Dodge County site, which had been listed Monday as quarantined but not yet confirmed, received a confirmed diagnosis on April 3.

The Board of Animal Health web page on the avian flu response at bah.state.mn.us/hpai is updated each weekday. The new sites reported Tuesday bring the total infected sites in Minnesota to 15 and the number of affected birds to 636,648.

In addition to four locations of infection in Kandiyohi County, Stearns County has had three and Morrison County now has two sites. Single sites have been reported in Becker, Dodge, Lac qui Parle, LeSueur, Meeker and Mower counties. Most of them have been commercial turkey locations. The Mower County report is listed as a backyard producer, as is one of the Stearns County sites.

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The first cases of H5N1 in Minnesota were confirmed March 25, according to the Board of Animal Health.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is extremely contagious and fatal to domestic poultry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed its presence in wild waterfowl in the Atlantic flyways in January, and its spread to a commercial turkey flock in Indiana was confirmed in early February.

According to the USDA summary of detection updated April 5, avian flu has been confirmed in commercial flocks in 14 states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. Several of those 14 states have also had backyard flock detections, and an additional 10 states have had only backyard flock detections. It has been found in wild birds in 32 states.

Susan Lunneborg is the news editor of the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota. A journalist for more than 25 years, she has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in the Dakotas and Minnesota.
Lunneborg can be reached at: slunneborg@wctib.com or 320-214-4343.
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