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There are now more than 1.8 million birds that are in the process of being euthanized in Minnesota due to the rampant spread of avian influenza. That up from 1.1 million just over a week ago. 

According to the Board of Animal Health, there are 38 commercial or public poultry flocks that have confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) spreading within. Those 38 sites are home to 1,842,860 birds, all of which will be killed to prevent further spread of the disease. 

The 38 sites and size of each flock can be found in the Board of Animal Health report here. The bird flu is now confirmed at sites in 17 Minnesota counties. 

  • 2 in Becker County
  • 1 in Benton County
  • 1 in Big Stone County
  • 1 in Blue Earth County
  • 1 in Dodge County
  • 6 in Kandiyohi County
  • 1 in Lac Qui Parle County
  • 1 in Le Sueur County
  • 2 in Meeker County
  • 7 in Morrison County
  • 1 in Mower County
  • 2 in Otter Tail County
  • 1 in Renville County
  • 5 in Stearns County
  • 1 in Swift County
  • 2 in Waseca County
  • 1 in Yellow Medicine County

When a Minnesota flock is confirmed to be carrying HPAI, response efforts begin immediately to mitigate spread. The affected property is placed under quarantine, followed by the depopulation of the entire flock. Bird carcasses are then composted inside the barns.

All flocks within 6.2 miles of the affected farm are also placed under quarantine and must undergo testing before normal poultry operations can resume.

Avian influenza is not known to infect humans.

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The current outbreak was first discovered on March 25, marking the first HPAI cases in Minnesota since the 2015 outbreak that led to the deaths of more than 9 million birds in Minnesota. 

Anyone with a poultry flock exhibiting signs of avian influenza should immediately contact their veterinarian and call the Minnesota Poultry Testing Lab at 320-231-5170.

Signs and symptoms of HPAI, according to officials, include:

  • Sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs
  • Lack of energy and appetite
  • Decrease in egg production
  • Soft- or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
  • Purple/blue discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs
  • Gasping for air (difficulty breathing)
  • Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge (runny nose)
  • Stumbling or falling down
  • Diarrhea

Minnesota is No. 1 in the United States in turkey production, with more than 660 turkey farms in the state that raise about 40 million birds annually.

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