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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Bruce Gordon  651-201-7171
bruce.gordon@state.mn.us
Doug Neville  651-201-7562
douglas.neville@state.mn.us
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2015
Daily Update on Avian Influenza - April 27

ST PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security Emergency Management  Division (HSEM) activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to coordinate the state’s ongoing response to avian influenza. HSEM will coordinate resource needs with several state agencies including the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Additional HPAI cases in Minnesota
The USDA today confirmed the presence of H5N2 HPAI in six additional flocks. The following Minnesota counties were affected:

  • Chippewa – 1st detection in county (68,000 turkeys)
  • Kandiyohi – 11th*, 18th and 19th detections (42,900 turkeys and 67,000 turkeys)
  • Redwood – 4th detection (24,300 turkeys). The 3rd flock in Redwood County (11,100 turkeys) was identified as a dangerous contact and will be euthanized as a preventative measure.
    *A delay in confirmatory testing resulted in late announcement of the 11th detection in Kandiyohi County.
Animal health officials are currently investigating possible additional cases of HPAI in Minnesota flocks. As flocks are confirmed by NVSL, the Board will provide information on its website at www.mnairesponse.info.
 
Current Situation
Total number of farms – 55
Total number of counties – 18
 
Farms by County/Number of Flocks
​Chippeawa: 1 Lyon: 1 Redwood: 2
Clay: 1 ​Meeker: 6​ Roseau: 1
Cottonwood: 2​ Nobles: 1 Stearns: 9
Kandiyohi: 19​ Otter Tail: 2 Swift: 2
​Lac Qui Parle: 1​ Pipestone: 1 Wadena: 1
​Le Sueur: 1 Pope: 1 Watonwan: 1 ​​
 
Total number of birds affected in Minnesota – 3,114,232
 
All affected farms remain under quarantine.
 
Visit the USDA's website for information on all HPAI findings in the United States.
 
Current Incident Response Personnel
  • Minnesota Board of Animal Health and Department of Agriculture 85
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture 139
  • Total number of incident responders 224
To date, animal health officials have completed the following response zone activities:
  • Visited with individuals on over 11,000 premises to provide education and information on avian influenza
  • Conducted surveillance testing on 583 backyard flocks falling within the control areas of infected flocks
  • Completed depopulation of 49 flocks
Water Delivery
  • Large amounts of water are needed in foaming systems being used as part of euthanasia efforts, which are in place to control further spread of avian influenza virus.
  • The Minnesota National Guard is delivering water for use in the disease containment effort. Forty-one soldiers and 15 water trucks are available to supply water. The Guard provided 16 thousand gallons of water in Kandiyohi County today. The Guard began its mission on Monday and will continue to provide support until civilian contractors become available. The soldiers and equipment are from the Willmar-based 682nd Engineer Battalion and the Brooklyn Park-based A Company, 134th Brigade Support Battalion.
  • The Minnesota Department of Transportation supported foaming operations on Sunday. Three MnDOT tanker trucks, two 6,500 gallon trucks and one 4,500 gallon truck, moved water from Evansville to Paynesville. The trucks were from MnDOT facilities in Baxter, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities.
No Public Health Risk
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reports that no human infections with this strain of the virus (H5N2) have been detected in Minnesota or elsewhere in the U.S. However, in some cases certain HPAI H5 viruses can infect people and it is important to prevent infections.
 
In general, avian influenza viruses are spread to people through direct contact with infected birds or their environments, including contaminated bedding, feed or water. Person-to-person spread of avian influenza viruses is rare and limited.
 
This is not a public health risk or a food safety risk. The potential risk is for those who have direct contact with infected birds.
 
Poultry Workers
MDH is monitoring the health of workers, who have had contact with infected poultry, and providing guidance on infection control, the use of personal protective equipment, and providing support for any other health-related aspects of response.
 
People who had close, unprotected contact with infected flocks are recommended to receive an antiviral drug called Tamiflu. MDH does not issue the drug directly. Rather, MDH facilitates getting the prescription for the workers by working with the company occupational health departments or the health care providers for those individuals.
Workers are then contacted daily for 10 days and monitored for development of respiratory symptoms.
As of today, MDH has completed follow-up contacts for 48 flocks.
MDH is currently monitoring 86 poultry personnel for potential symptoms of infection, such as development of an eye infection or respiratory symptoms.
The MDH 10-day monitoring period has been completed for 74 people associated with 17 flocks; no infections with this virus were detected.

No Positives Found in Wild Birds in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has collected more than 2,300 samples from wild waterfowl. Of those samples, nearly 1,000 test results have been received and none have tested positive for H5N2. The DNR’s goal is to collect and test 3,000 samples from affected areas.
Twenty-one wild bird carcasses of various species have been sampled. Of the eight test results received so far, none have tested positive for H5N2. The DNR is also testing hunter-harvested wild turkeys from Swift, Stearns, Pope, Meeker and Kandiyohi counties. Eighteen hunter-killed turkeys have been tested, but no results have been received yet. The goal is to collect 300 samples from hunter-killed turkeys by the end of the six-week wild turkey hunting season.
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov