Kandiyohi Co. Turkeys Positive for H5 Flu, Not Public Health Risk

Routine testing by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health found H5 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County, which has been confirmed by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories. H5 LPAI does not pose a risk to the public, and there is no food safety concern for consumers.

This is not the same virus that was the cause of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) 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,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Beth Thompson.

The Board quarantined the flock on Monday, November 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. Avian influenza is not a food safety issue.

The Board is working with federal, state and industry partners in its response. Poultry producers must 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 birds from exposure to wild birds and other types of poultry. The Board has biosecurity resources available to assist producers with forming and implementing plans.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is the official source of information for updates and information regarding this low pathogenic avian influenza response.