Steele County takes steps to prevent spread of avian flu - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Steele County takes steps to prevent spread of avian flu

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Steele County takes steps to prevent spread of avian flu Steele County takes steps to prevent spread of avian flu

OWATONNA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Nineteen counties, seventy barns, and nearly four million birds have been affected by Minnesota's avian flu outbreak. Steele County is the latest county, and the first in southeast Minnesota, to discover the flu among their farms. Now officials are taking steps to prevent the disease from spreading any further.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 80,000 turkeys were in the Steele County farm where H5N2 was discovered. All of those turkeys will now have to be euthanized.

Steele County has quarantined the affected farm, while all farms within 10 kilometers of the affected farms will be placed under surveillance. Steele County Emergency Management Director Mike Johnson said the county is disappointed avian flu was found within their borders, but that they are well-prepared to deal with the outbreak.

"I think this is difficult to say because we don't do this every day, but I know one thing is we're putting in the measures and there's an action plan that's being implemented," said Johnson. "Hopefully we're going to be successful in controlling the spread of this disease."

The Minnesota Department of Health said the disease is not a food safety risk or a human health risk. Steele County officials are asking everyone in the county to report any instances of sick or dead birds to the U.S. Department of Agriculture at (866) 536-7593.

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