Avian flu hits four more turkey farms in Midwest

Avian influenza has invaded four more turkey farms in the Upper Midwest: two in Iowa, one in Minnesota, and one in South Dakota, according to state and media reports.

The Iowa and Minnesota incidents were announced today, and the South Dakota was revealed late last week.

Two Iowa counties affected

In Iowa, the virus hit turkey farms in Hamilton and Calhoun counties, marking the second outbreak in each, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land stewardship (IDALS) said today. Hamilton is in central Iowa, and Calhoun lies two counties to the west.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed the "highly pathogenic H5 virus" on the Hamilton County farm, which has 36,000 turkeys, the IDALS said, without mentioning H5N2 specifically. At the Calhoun County farm, with 21,000 birds, initial testing showed the H5 virus, and confirmatory test results from the USDA are awaited.

Iowa has now had 65 outbreaks in 18 counties, with 28.6 million poultry affected, according to IDALS data.

Minnesota outbreaks reach 103

In Minnesota, the affected farm is in the south-central county of Brown, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported today. The outbreak is listed as a presumptive positive, and the size of the flock is not yet available.

Minnesota now has 103 farms hit by avian flu in 23 counties, the DPS said. More than 8.3 million birds have been affected, not counting farms for which flock size estimates are not yet available.

South Dakota reports 10th event

The South Dakota outbreak was reported May 29 in Moody County, which borders Minnesota.

South Dakota State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven, DVM, said a farm with about 50,000 birds had a presumptive positive test for avian flu, according to a May 29 Associated Press (AP) story. He said officials were waiting for confirmation of the H5N2 virus and that crews would soon start euthanizing the surviving turkeys to stop the virus's spread.

The outbreak is South Dakota's 10th recent avian flu incident and the second in Moody County, according to a chart maintained by the South Dakota Animal Industry Board (AIB). The previous outbreak, reported May 14, involved an egg farm with 1.3 million chickens.

The South Dakota outbreaks have affected a total of 1.7 million birds, according to the AIB.

In other developments, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) today announced the end of a ban on poultry movements in control zones around the two farms in Dickey and LaMoure counties that were hit by H5N2 in April.

See also:

Jun 1 IDALS statement

Jun 1 Minnesota DPS statement

May 29 AP story

South Dakota AIB chart of outbreaks

Jun 1 NDDA statement on lifting of restrictions

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