Avian Flu Outbreak in South Dakota & Minnesota Turkey Farms
It was in 2014 and 2015 that the United States would experience its largest outbreak of Avian Influenza. During that time more than 50 million birds were killed to control the virus.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspective Service (APHIS) reports the highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus has once again been detected in U.S. birds in 14 states and commercial and backyard poultry in 13 states.
According to state officials, in March avian influenza was confirmed in two commercial turkey farms in Charles Mix County and both snow geese and Canada geese in South Dakota.
The Bird Flu is primarily targeting commercial turkey operations but also has been detected in private backyards.
To date, 10 counties in South Dakota and four counties in Minnesota have confirmed cases affecting thousands of both backyard species and commercial turkeys.
Avian influenza viruses are classified as either “low pathogenic” or “highly pathogenic” based on their genetic features and the severity of the disease they cause in poultry. Most viruses are of low pathogenicity, meaning that they cause no signs or only minor clinical signs of infection in poultry.