Highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza has been identified in a commercial turkey flock in Pope County, Minnesota, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed. This is the first finding in the Mississippi flyway.
The strain of avian influenza is that same that has been confirmed in backyard and wild birds in Washington, Oregon and Idaho as part of the ongoing incident in the Pacific flyway.
Samples from the turkey breeder replacement flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the finding. APHIS is partnering closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response.
State officials quarantined the affected premises and the remaining birds on the property, which houses 15,000 in total will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area, following existing avian influenza response plans.
Since the announcement of the outbreak 40 countries have banned poultry imports from Minnesota, the US’s largest turkey-producing state. This includes the entire European Union and most of Central America.