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Nearly 1 million chickens to be quarantined amid avian flu outbreak

An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was found at a Minnesota farm, with 940,000 chickens affected.
Nearly 1 million chickens to be quarantined amid avian flu outbreak
Posted at 2:02 PM, Nov 07, 2023

Officials in Minnesota are forced to quarantine and potentially slaughter 940,000 chickens after highly pathogenic avian influenza was reported at a farm in Wright County, Minnesota. 

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health first issued the quarantine on Oct. 31. 

Cases of HPAI are generally flagged after a poultry producer notices unexplained illnesses and deaths in their flock. Officials then conduct laboratory samples to test for the virus. 

All told, more than 2.4 million birds have been affected by the virus in the United States since early October, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA stresses that this number does not necessarily reflect the number of infected birds.  

SEE MORE: Grizzly bears in Montana tested positive for avian influenza

Since early last year, the USDA has reported that over 61 million birds have been affected by the virus. 

The case in Wright County comes after over 100,000 turkeys were affected by an outbreak in Meeker County, Minnesota. 

“Unfortunately, HPAI seems to keep popping up during the seasonal migrations in Minnesota,” State veterinarian Dr. Brian Hoefs said in October. "Anyone who has poultry should take this detection as a clear sign to keep a close eye on their flock and initiate your strongest biosecurity practices.”

Officials say there is little concern for human health. State and federal agencies say poultry is safe to eat, and proper handling, cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees is advised as it kills off viruses. 

HPAI has been found in poultry in 15 states in the last 30 days. 

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