For immediate release: August 31, 2022
Contact: Michael Crusan
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza confirmed in Meeker County
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in a Meeker County commercial turkey flock. Samples were tested over the weekend at the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) and were confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa Tuesday evening.
Poultry is safe to eat, and proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚ F is always advised. This strain of avian influenza is a low risk to the public.
A Meeker County commercial turkey flock reported an increase in bird mortality last weekend, which led to samples being collected and tested at the MPTL. After a presumptive positive result at the MPTL, the flock was immediately quarantined and has since been depopulated to stop the spread of disease. Poultry from the infected flock will not enter the food system.
“While the timing of this detection is a bit sooner than we anticipated, we have been preparing for a resurgence of the avian influenza we dealt with this spring,” said Senior Veterinarian Dr. Shauna Voss. “HPAI is here and biosecurity is the first line of defense to protect your birds.”
Biosecurity is paramount to stopping the spread of this and other viruses and disease. Flock owners large and small, from commercial operations to backyard flocks, should review their biosecurity measures to maintain the health of their birds. The Board established a 10 kilometer control area around the HPAI infected flock and animal health officials are identifying all premises with commercial or backyard poultry in this area. Commercial flocks will be quarantined and go through routine disease surveillance to make sure the virus isn’t spreading.
If you have a flock exhibiting any clinical signs of influenza, such as a drop in water consumption or increased mortality, or you believe they might have been exposed to birds with the disease, immediately call your veterinarian. If you are a veterinarian and receive reports of clinical signs of avian influenza, call the Minnesota Avian Influenza Hotline at 1-833-454-0156. If it is after hours or on the weekend, call the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798.
Subsequent detections of HPAI this fall will be posted on the Board’s website: www.mn.gov/bah/hpai. The Board is the official source of information for Minnesota’s response to HPAI.