Poultry producers in the nation’s top turkey state are taking extra steps to protect their flocks after a devastating strain of bird flu was confirmed at two Minnesota farms in as many days last week, a disease that had already slammed the doors shut on some key export markets.
A third Minnesota turkey farm has been struck by a bird flu strain that’s deadly to poultry. The federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Saturday confirmed that a commercial turkey flock in Stearns County of central Minnesota has been infected with the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian influenza.
State and federal officials have confirmed an outbreak at a second Minnesota turkey farm of a form of bird flu that’s deadly to poultry.
Animal health experts and poultry growers are scrambling to determine how a dangerous new strain of bird flu infected turkey flocks in three states — and to stop it from spreading. Avian influenza is common in wild migratory waterfowl but doesn’t usually harm them.
Minnesota turkey farmers are boosting protective measures after a lethal strain of bird flu wiped out 15,000 birds in about a week. The H5N2 strain of avian influenza devastated a flock of turkeys at an unidentified Pope County farm. Officials say it’s unlikely to infect humans.
Federal officials say a serious strain of bird flu has been found in a Minnesota commercial turkey flock. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the finding in Pope County, in western Minnesota, is the first appearance of the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain in the Mississippi flyway.
Avian flu claimed 310 lives in 15 countries from 2004 to 2006, then the disease quieted down — until now.