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Minnesota now up to 54 sites infected with avian flu and approaching 2.5M birds affected

The inventory of flocks in Minnesota diagnosed with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza is now at nearly 2.5 million, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Four additional infection sites were added to the list as of Friday, April 22, bringing the total infected sites in the state to 54.

WCT.Stock.Poultry.Turkeys.04 Picture young turkeys in green grass.
The inventory of flocks in Minnesota diagnosed with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza is now approaching 2.5 million, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Fifty-four infection sites have been confirmed as of the Friday, April 22, report.
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WILLMAR, Minn. — Morrison County is now home to 11 sites of avian flu infection after two new sites were listed Friday. No other county has more individual infection sites.

The total infected sites in Minnesota is now at 54 after four new sites, all commercial meat turkey operations, were added Friday to the state Board of Animal Health tally of confirmed diagnoses of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza.

The two new sites in Morrison County were the 10th and 11th poultry flocks there. A flock of 48,000 was confirmed April 19 and a flock of 40,885 was confirmed April 21.

Also added to the list Friday were the seventh site in Stearns County, a flock of 71,958, and the third site in Todd County, a flock of 19,650.

The numerical site labels for the Todd County sites on the Board of Animal Health web page devoted to avian flu response do not match the number of confirmed sites. A fourth site that would have carried the label "Todd 01" never received a confirmed diagnosis.

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Michael Crusan, communications director for the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, previously told the West Central Tribune that birds at that site were depopulated as it was linked to another infected premises, but that site will not be part of the board's list as there was never a positive confirmation.

The board's web page devoted to avian flu response in the state — which can be found at bah.state.mn.us/hpai — is updated by noon each weekday with the information that is known about infection sites. Data from previous days also may be updated by quality control staff if more accurate information is gathered later.

According to that page, the total flock inventory affected by avian flu in Minnesota now stands at 2,465,383, the vast majority in commercial meat turkey operations.

Susan Lunneborg is the news editor of the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota. A journalist for more than 25 years, she has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in the Dakotas and Minnesota.
Lunneborg can be reached at: slunneborg@wctib.com or 320-214-4343.
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