Bird flu: Minnesota quarantines turkey flock

07-08-2009 | |

A commercial turkey flock in central Minnesota in the US has been quarantined after routine testing discovered a strain of the avian flu virus, the state Board of Animal Health announced.

The Associated Press reports that the Minnesota Board of Animal Health Assistant Director Dale Lauer stressed that the avian flu strain found at the Meeker County farm was different from the more lethal strain has caused problems in birds and humans mostly in Asia.

Lauer, a veterinarian, said the strain of virus found at the farm didn’t pose a threat to the general public but could cause mild symptoms in poultry workers.

The quarantined flock was showing no signs of illness, but if left unchecked the virus could morph into a form that could be lethal to the state’s commercial poultry flocks.

Minnesota is the nation’s top turkey producing state.

Lauer would not identify the farm but said the flock and other flocks within three miles would stay under quarantine for 6 weeks while they are repeatedly tested for the virus. If the animals recover, he said, they could go back into the food supply.

Source: The Associated Press

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist