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On March 8th, another case of the H5N2 avian influenza virus was found in the Midwest. The Missouri Department of Agriculture confirmed a second case of bird flu on March 9th in another county.
On March 5th, Minnesota confirmed the first infection in the Mississippi flyway.
Now two states with bird flu border Iowa and it's raising biosecurity concerns. Story County turkey producer Nick Hermanson says his farm is preparing for the worst by boosting sanitation efforts.
He says countries are already banning Minnesota turkey, "It's hard to tell how fast it would spread from one farm to another if it was to take place here but it would be a highly financial loss. And the other thing is the state of Minnesota right now has 40 countries that are banning imports from Minnesota and if those export markets aren't opened that will affect the price that Turkey has as the domestic supply would grow in lack of that foreign demand."
Hermanson says there's little to no insurance on bird flu, so he's trying to keep everything that's outside his turkey buildings from getting in, "As a producer, it's a very highly contagious and very easily transmittable by wild birds. That's why you notice it's started out on the West coast and it kind of moved through Canada and then into Minnesota and it's now in Missouri as well. So it's easy to travel as the birds migrate. For us, it would be a very disastrous result as all the flocks that are tested positive will be depopulated and removed from the food supply."
Hermanson says H5N2 is not a human health concern. Infected birds are quarantined and do not enter the food supply.