In the We’re All Gonna Die Department, Beadle County brings us bird flu:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has confirmed avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in eastern South Dakota’s Beadle County.
…USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says the South Dakota flock of 53,000 turkeys is within the Central Flyway bird migration route, where the strain of bird flu has previously been found.
The South Dakota flock has been quarantined, and the birds will be killed to prevent the spread of the disease. The state Health Department also is involved [“Bird Flu Found in Eastern SD Commercial Turkey Flock,” AP via KOTA-TV, 2015.04.02].
O.K., CDC says we people probably aren’t gonna die. But your birds might, if you live in the 20-kilometer quarantine zone. The St. Cloud Times, reporting on four outbreaks in Minnesota, gives the details on federal quarantine rules:
Central Minnesotans learned about HPAI action plans starting March 27, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock of 39,000 in Stearns County. In keeping with federal and state laws, a 20-kilometer circle around the farm was established. The closest 3 kilometers are the infected zone. The next 7 km are the buffer zone, and the last 10 km are the surveillance zone.
Birds on the affected farm were euthanized Monday. The turkey carcasses are being composted on-site inside the barns. The site remains under quarantine.
Everything within a 10-kilometer circle of the site is considered the control area, and all poultry premises in that circle were identified. This includes 15-20 commercial sites and 60 backyard flocks.
These commercial flocks have routinely been tested for avian influenza for years. Stringent testing continues, plus biosecurity measures are stressed. The 60 backyard flocks will undergo testing and be placed in quarantine.
All other poultry owners between 10 and 20 kilometers of the site are notified of the outbreak so they can look for symptoms, which can include nasal discharge, unusually quiet birds, decreased food and water consumption, drop in egg production, and high death loss [editorial, St. Cloud Times, 2015.04.02].
Bird flu came from Asia, just like the EB-5 funding and most of the workers for Dakota Provisions, the major commercial turkey producer in Beadle County. The current strain may be spread by migrating ducks.