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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 28, 2015
Daily Update on Avian Influenza - April 28

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 one additional flock. The following Minnesota county is affected:

  • Stearns – 10th detection (27,000 turkeys)
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 – 56
Total number of counties – 18
 
​Chippeawa: 1 Lyon: 1 Redwood: 2
Clay: 1 ​Meeker: 6​ Roseau: 1
Cottonwood: 2​ Nobles: 1 Stearns: 10
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 – 3,383,232
 
All affected farms remain under quarantine.
 
Visit the USDA's website for information on all HPAI findings in the United States.
 
To date, animal health officials have completed the following response zone activities:
  • Visited with individuals on 11,809 premises to provide education and information on avian influenza
  • Conducted surveillance testing on 589 backyard flocks falling within the control areas of infected flocks
  • The composting process is underway on 41 of the affected farms. Animal health officials are currently working with producers to begin composting on the other farms.
Outreach at the FFA Convention
A representative from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture spoke with 3,500 attendees at the State FFA Convention in St. Paul today. The students and leaders heard an update on HPAI response in Minnesota and learned more about practicing biosecurity on the farm.
 
Water transport
The Minnesota National Guard was not needed for any missions today. The Guard is on stand-by if needed to support water transportation efforts.
 
Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture Hotline Summaries
  • General Question Line (1-888-702-9963)
    • 35 calls between 4/19 – 4/27
    • Call topics include:
       Composting
       Regulations on exhibiting birds
       Permitting and movement in control zones
       Any human health risks?
  • Sick or dead poultry (320-214-6700 x3804)
    • Seven calls between 4/20 – 4/27 *this number only reflects calls requiring vet response
    • Vast majority of calls do not warrant a veterinary investigator to follow up on site. Many calls are education and outreach opportunities to discuss biosecurity and bird health. Callers also looking to verify they don’t need testing.
  • Permitting (651-201-6817)
    • A lot of backyard flock owners want to know about movement of eggs and birds. Additional questions are about poultry manure movement, ordering chicks, difference between control areas and uninfected areas.
  • The University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Public Health and Preventative Medicine Residency program is providing veterinarians and students for its general information hotline (1-888-702-9963) to answer the public’s questions and concerns about the response effort. 
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 49 flocks.
  • MDH is currently monitoring 80 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 83 people associated with 22 flocks; no infections with this virus were detected.
No Positives Found in Wild Birds in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has now collected 2,700 samples from wild waterfowl, nearing the agency’s goal of 3,000 wild-waterfowl fecal samples from affected areas. Nearly 1,000 test results have been received and none have tested positive for H5N2.
 
The agency has collected 28 wild bird carcasses of various species from across the state for additional sampling. Of the nine 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. Hunters have submitted 37 birds so far, but no results have been received yet. The goal is to collect 300 samples from hunter-killed turkeys by the end of the spring hunting season on May 28.
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov