WASHINGTON, April 8, 2015 – USDA has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Meeker County, Minnesota, marking the ninth outbreak of HPAI in the state.

When the flock of 310,000 turkeys began exhibiting increased mortality, samples were taken to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UMVDL) for testing. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the federal agency responsible for confirming infectious diseases in animals, verified UMVDL’s findings.

HPAI bird flu has been confirmed in poultry flocks located in ten states and three of four migratory bird flyways in the U.S since January. Approximately a dozen countries have prohibited all U.S. poultry imports in response to the outbreaks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says HPAI infections in wild, migratory birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry pose little risk to humans, particularly because no infected birds have, or will, enter the food system. No human HPAI infections have been found to date.

USDA said APHIS would be working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. The infected flock is now depopulated and the property where the flock was housed is quarantined to prevent spread of the disease. 

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