Return of avian influenza confirmed in Minnesota flock

A return of bird flu outbreaks was expected. Poultry is safe to eat, and proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is always advised.

Illustration shows test tube labelled "Bird Flu" and eggs
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, bird flu, had made a return to Minnesota.

It's been an almost four month reprieve from the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreaks in Minnesota — but it's back.

HPAI was confirmed in a backyard flock on Monday, April 3, in Le Sueur County. Samples were confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. The site is quarantined, and the birds on the premises were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease, according to a press release from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

“We were fortunate to get a reprieve from the virus during the past few months,” said Senior Poultry Veterinarian, Dr. Shauna Voss in the release. “We’ve been anticipating the return of the virus and are recalling our partner resources back to the fight. We continue to call on anyone who owns birds to stand up their biosecurity, especially during these next couple months.”

Poultry producers and backyard flock owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if they see any signs or symptoms in their flock:

  • Extreme depression.
  • Very quiet.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Decrease in feed or water intake.
  • Swelling or purple discoloration of head, eyelids, comb, wattle, and hocks.
  • Decrease in egg production.
  • Sudden, unexplained death.

Biosecurity is paramount to stopping the spread of this and other viruses and disease. Flock owners large and small should review their biosecurity measures to maintain the health of their birds.


The number of birds infected with HPAI could spike due to the upcoming migratory season

If you are a veterinarian and receive reports of clinical signs of avian influenza, call the Minnesota Avian Influenza Hotline at 833-454-0156. If it is after hours or on the weekend, call the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798.

There are no approved vaccines for HPAI at this time, and the decision to authorize their usage is handled at the federal level. Minnesota’s federal partners are in regular contact with stakeholders and industry on the use of vaccines.

Detections of HPAI in Minnesota are posted on the Board’s website: . The Board is the official source of information for Minnesota’s response to HPAI.

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