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Minnesota tops 2M birds impacted by avian flu

The inventory of flocks in Minnesota diagnosed with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza is now at 2.1 million, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Six additional infection sites were announced Wednesday, April 20, bringing the total infected sites in the state to 46.

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Six additional avian flu infection sites in Minnesota were announced Wednesday, April 20, bringing the total infected sites in the state to 46 and the number of birds impacted to 2.1 million.
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WILLMAR, Minn. — Minnesota now tops 2 million birds impacted by avian flu since cases were first confirmed in the state in late March.

According to the state Board of Animal Health, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed Tuesday, April 19, in six additional commercial meat turkey operations.

New confirmations were announced Wednesday in Kandiyohi, Meeker, Otter Tail and Swift counties, plus two more in Morrison County. Tuesday's numbers include the eighth flock in Kandiyohi County, and Morrison now has its eighth and ninth infection sites. The six flock sizes ranged from 10,000 to 53,000.

The number of avian flu infection sites in Minnesota stands at 46 as of Wednesday's state report from the Board of Animal Health, for a total of 2,118,166 million birds affected.

The vast majority of infection sites in Minnesota have been in commercial meat turkey operations. Other production types with confirmed diagnoses, according to the Board of Animal Health, have been three commercial turkey breeder hen flocks, all located in Kandiyohi County; two commercial chicken operations in Morrison County — one broiler flock and one egg layer flock; and four backyard producers.

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The board's web page devoted to avian flu response in the state — 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.

A total of 17 counties in the state have been impacted so far. In addition to the new reports in five counties, the other affected counties are Becker, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Dodge, Lac qui Parle, LeSueur, Mower, Renville, Stearns, Waseca and Yellow Medicine.

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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