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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Low Path H5 Diagnosed in Turkey Flock in Kandiyohi County MN.


 The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has detected H5 low pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County. According to State Veterinarian Dr. Beth Thompson, the case was diagnosed on routine surveillance prior to slaughter. The flock was placed under quarantine on November 22nd and appropriate monitoring of adjacent and contact flocks is in progress. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is working with federal, state and industry partners in its response.


An investigation of the source of the infection is presumably in progress. Kandiyohi County was the epicenter of the initial turkey-associated phase of the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza epornitic in 2015.

Location of Kandiyohi County

Both H5 and H7 strains of avian influenza virus are capable of undergoing point mutation to become highly pathogenic as confirmed by numerous previous outbreaks including a case in Indiana in early 2016 and in the Carolinas in 2019.


The statement from Minnesota officials that turkey farmers exercise a high standard of biosecurity is less than reassuring given the occurrence of this index case. Whether additional cases emerge in coming days will provide an indication of the probability of a more severe problem in weeks to come given the reality that migratory birds serve as reservoirs and disseminators of infection.


This case coupled with the results of surveys denoting the recovery of AI virus from wild birds, recently disclosed in an APHIS webinar, are cause for concern.The need for effective structural and operational biosecurity is emphasized as opposed to a “going through the motions” approach since the events of 2015 have faded in memory.


H5 and H7 isolations of avian influenza virus irrespective of pathogenicity must be reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and will have trade implications.

Copyright © 2022 Simon M. Shane