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Minnesota now up to 50 sites infected with avian flu and nearly 2.3M birds affected

The inventory of flocks in Minnesota diagnosed with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza is now at nearly 2.3 million, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Four additional infection sites were added to the list as of Thursday, April 21, bringing the total infected sites in the state to 50.

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The inventory of flocks in Minnesota diagnosed with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza is now at nearly 2.3 million, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Fifty infection sites have been confirmed as of Thursday, April 21.
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WILLMAR, Minn. — The daily update on the status of avian flu in Minnesota now shows 50 sites of infection and nearly 2.3 million birds impacted.

According to the state Board of Animal Health web page, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed Wednesday, April 20, at two commercial meat turkey sites in Todd County — the first confirmed sites in that county, each holding 30,000 birds.

A third new site listed Thursday was in Stearns County, a flock of 63,746 commercial meat turkeys, bringing that county to six total sites.

Based on West Central Tribune archives, the fourth new flock listed Thursday appears to be the seventh site identified in Kandiyohi County, a commercial meat turkey flock of more than 38,000. The eighth site had been listed one day earlier on the web page devoted to avian flu response in the state at bah.state.mn.us/hpai.

Michael Crusan, communications director for the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, did not have information immediately available to confirm that, but told the West Central Tribune that the board is receiving updated information many times a day, while the web page is updated just once a day. He said it is entirely possible that results for the seventh site arrived later in the day than results for the site designated as eighth, and thus ended up being reported on different days.

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The Todd County sites listed Thursday on the board's web page are designated as "Todd 02" and "Todd 03," but the county has just those two confirmed sites.

Crusan said that the site that would have been "Todd 01" never received a confirmed diagnosis. Birds at that site were depopulated as it was a high-risk site linked to another infected premises, but that location will not be part of the board's public list as there was never a positive confirmation.

The flock inventory affected by avian flu in Minnesota now stands at 2,282,594, the vast majority in commercial meat turkey operations.

The board's web page 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.

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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