Avian flu hits Minnesota's 14th commercial turkey farm, shows up in North and South Dakota

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The deadly H5N2 avian flu virus shows new evidence of spreading across the Upper Midwest, with the infection reported at commercial turkey operations in both North and South Dakota.

Meanwhile, a 14th commercial turkey farm in Minnesota has been tainted, following Friday's news that four additional farms has been struck. The West Central Tribune reports that the latest farm dealing with the virus is in Kandiyohi county, with 38,000 birds in the affected flock.

The Associated Press reported that the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa confirmed the avian influenza in a flock of 40,000 turkeys in Dickey County. Forum News Service notes it's that state's first confirmed case of the flu strain.

The AP noted that the flu strain was confirmed in a commercial turkey flock of 34,000 turkeys in Kingsburg County in eastern South Dakota. One previous case of the virus in South Dakota was found last week at a farm in Beadle County.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday confirmed that turkeys at four farms in Cottonwood, Lyon, Stearns and Watonwan counties – totaling 189,000 birds between them – had been infected with bird flu.

MPR News created a list of where and when the Minnesota cases have been reported.

• Kandiyohi County: 38,000-bird farm (April 11, 2015)
• Cottonwood County: 48,000-bird farm (April 10, 2015)
• Lyon County: 66,000-bird farm (April 10, 2015)
• Watonwan County: 30,000-bird farm (April 10, 2015)
• Stearns County: 45,000-bird farm (April 10, 2015)
• Meeker County: 310,000-bird farm (April 8, 2015)
• Kandiyohi County (April 7, 2015)
• Kandiyohi County: 26,000-bird farm (April 4, 2015)
• Stearns County: 76,000-bird farm (April 4, 2015)
• Stearns County: 71,000-bird farm (April 2, 2015)
• Nobles County: 7,000-bird farm (April 2, 2015)
• Stearns County: 39,000-bird farm (March 28, 2015)
• Lac Qui Parle County: 66,000-bird farm (March 27, 2015)
• Pope County: 15,000-bird farm (March 4, 2015)

The USDA says turkeys from these flocks will not enter the food system, and note that the risk to humans is low. No infections in people have been detected.

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