On Friday, bird flu was confirmed on a turkey farm in North Dakota. In Minnesota, four more turkey farms were confirmed to contain the bird flu virus. These new cases bring the total cases of bird flu on midwestern farms to 20. The first positive results for bird flu came back in March. Since the first cases, over one million birds have been confirmed to have the virus in six states. These states include North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri. Cases of bird flu have also been confirmed in Ontario, Canada.
The counties in Minnesota where these infected birds are located are Cottonwood, Lyon, Watonwan, and Stearns counties. In North Dakota, Dickey County is the area infected. A protocol has been put in place that states that all the birds who are not killed from the virus will be killed by other measures in order to try and contain the spread of the bird flu.
According to the CDC, domesticated birds can get the bird flu virus through direct contact with infected waterfowl or other infected poultry.
Experts are still trying to determine how the bird flu first became a problem on the turkey farms. Turkey farms have a very tight and strict process that keeps diseases like the bird flu from contaminating the birds. Scientists are still trying to figure out how the bird flu was able to get through the detection process. The main theory right now is that the disease is being spread from duck droppings. No proof yet exists to prove if this claim is true or not.
Until the cause of the virus is established, bird flu outbreaks may continue to occur on more turkey farms in the midwest. Sadly, until the cause of the bird flu outbreak is figured out, more turkeys will be lost.
This bird flu outbreak will no doubt take an economic toll on the farms where the disease is. Dave Fredrickson, the Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner, commented on the potential economic problems for the future.
"For these companies, and obviously for the farmers and their families that have been impacted by the H5N2 virus, there are some really difficult times ahead."
What are your thoughts on the current bird flu outbreak? Will you feel safe eating turkey?
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