7.3 million chickens destroyed- Minnesota declares state of emergency

“(Reuters) – Minnesota declared a state of emergency on Thursday over a fast-spreading strain of avian flu that has led to the extermination of more than 7.3 million birds in the country. It followed Wisconsin’s action on Monday.

The highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of bird flu has been identified on 46 Minnesota farms in 16 counties and affected more than 2.6 million birds in the state.

State health officials said they were expediting prescriptions for the antiviral drug Tamiflu for farm workers and others who have been in direct contact with infected flocks. No human infections have been reported in this outbreak.”

“VIRUS SPREADS QUICKLY

The virus can kill nearly an entire infected flock within 48 hours. Millions of turkeys and chickens are in quarantine waiting to be culled and large flocks have already been destroyed.

Officials have said they believe wild birds are spreading the virus but they do not know how it is entering barns.

Two bird flu strains have been discovered in the United States this year. The H5N2 strain is in Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. It has also been identified on farms in Ontario, Canada.

The H5N8 strain has been identified in California and also in Idaho, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed.

Iowa, the top U.S. egg-producing state, said on Monday that a lethal strain of bird flu had been found in hens at an egg-laying facility near the city of Harris run by Sunrise Farms, an affiliate of Sonstegard Foods Company. The company said the facility houses 3.8 million hens.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/23/us-health-birdflu-minnesota-idUSKBN0NE2JP20150423

Henny Penny was asked to comment on this, but unfortunately she had already passed on.

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