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Low pathogenic avian influenza found in Kandiyohi County turkey flock, state working to contain virus

A commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County has tested positive for H5 low pathogenic avian influenza. This is not the same highly pathogenic virus that circulated among area flocks in 2015. The virus does not post a health risk to the public and there is no food safety concern.

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ST. PAUL — Routine testing by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health has found H5 low pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County.

This avian influenza does not pose a risk to the public, and there is no food safety concern for consumers, according to a news release from the Board of Animal Health.

This is not the same highly pathogenic avian influenza that caused a broad outbreak in the Midwest in 2015.

“Testing birds before they go to market is standard protocol for our poultry flocks in Minnesota because it verifies healthy birds are sent to market, and if disease is detected, we can hold the flock and work quickly with producers to address the disease,” State Veterinarian Dr. Beth Thompson said in the news release.

The state quarantined the flock on Nov. 22 and continues to monitor and test that flock as well as commercial poultry operations and individuals with backyard flocks within 10 kilometers for signs of the disease, according to the release.

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The Board of Animal Health is working with federal, state and industry partners in its response.

Poultry producers maintain strong biosecurity practices at their facilities to isolate their flocks from outside sources of infection. Biosecurity is an integral part of the way flocks are managed and can prevent the spread of disease.

Backyard flock owners should also practice strict biosecurity, including preventing exposure to wild birds and other types of poultry, according to the release. The Board has biosecurity resources available to assist producers with forming and implementing plans.

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