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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
May 08, 2015
Daily Update on Avian Influenza - May 8

ST PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and 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.

There are no new cases of HPAI to report today
  • The first case in Minnesota was confirmed on March 5, 2015 in a turkey flock in Pope County.
  • The second case in the state was confirmed about three weeks later on March 27.
  • There were no cases announced on Wednesday and two yesterday.
Current situation
Total number of affected farms – 84
Total number of counties – 21
 
Farms by county/Number of flocks
​Chippewa: 1 ​Meeker: 8 Renville: 1​
Clay: 1 ​Nicollet: 1 Roseau: 1
Cottonwood: 2​ Nobles: 1 Stearns: 14
Kandiyohi: 32 Otter Tail: 3 Steele: 1
​Lac Qui Parle: 1​ Pipestone: 2 Swift: 6
​Le Sueur: 1 Pope: 1 Wadena: 1
​Lyon: 1 Redwood: 4 Watonwan: 1 ​​

Total number of birds affected in Minnesota – 5,592,932 (not including pending flocks)
 
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:
  • Appraisals have been approved for 82 of the affected premises.
  • Birds on 79 of the affected farms have been euthanized.
  • Composting is in progress on 70 of the affected farms. Animal health officials and producers are working on carcass disposal on other farms.
    o Many of these farms are about half way through the composting process.
  • 1,022 backyard flocks falling within the control areas of affected farms have completed their first round of mandatory surveillance testing. Out of the test results received to date, only one backyard flock in Minnesota has tested positive for HPAI.
    o 54 of these flocks have completed the second round of sampling. The test results received thus far have been negative.
 
Poultry and eggs are safe to eat
When eating and preparing eggs and poultry, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture reminds consumers to:
  • Handle poultry products properly. Keep clean; wash hands, and clean and sanitize work surfaces and equipment.
  • Separate raw and cooked meat; avoid cross-contamination. 
  • Cook meat thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165⁰F.
  • Chill; keep and store food at 40 °F (4.4 ºC) or below and the freezer at 0 °F (-17.7 ºC) or below.
  • Cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm and ensure any dishes containing eggs are cooked to 160 °F.
  • Use pasteurized eggs for dishes where eggs are raw or undercooked when they are consumed.
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 78 flocks.
  • MDH is currently monitoring 93 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 194 people associated with 54 flocks; no infections with this virus were detected.
No wild waterfowl H5N2 positives
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has received the final test results from the 3,138 fecal samples that staff collected from wild waterfowl this spring. None of the samples tested positive for H5N2. About half of the samples came from near infected farms; the other half came from wildlife areas around the state. The DNR began the sampling in March and completed it last week. Sampling of live waterfowl may continue this summer during the DNR’s waterfowl-banding season, when about 6,000 to 7,000 wild ducks and geese are typically banded as part of the DNR’s annual waterfowl monitoring efforts.
 
Staff continues to test wild bird carcasses and hunter-harvested wild turkeys. Thirty-eight wild bird carcasses of various species have been collected and 71 hunter-harvest wild turkeys have been sampled. No hunter-harvested wild turkeys have tested positive for H5N2 and only one wild-bird carcass, a Cooper’s hawk, has test positive. The DNR will continue to test hunter-harvested wild turkeys through the end of the spring hunting season on May 28.
 
The agency recently completed a two-and-half minute video describing the DNR’s surveillance of wild waterfowl. The video can be viewed on the DNR’s avian influenza web site.
 
Hotline information
  • General questions about avian influenza and biosecurity: 888-702-9963
  • Report sick or dead poultry: 320-214-6700 Ext. 3804
  • Report sick or dead wild birds: 888-646-6367 (DNR)
  • Movement permits into/within/out of the control zones: 651-201-6817 or use the online permit request form
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov