Minnesota is the second state to declare an emergency due to a fast-spreading bird flu epidemic at poultry farms across the Midwest. The highly contagious H5N2 strain of avian influenza has led to the killing of more than 7.3 million birds in the US.
In Minnesota, H5N2 has been found on 46 farms in 16 counties, affecting more than 2.6 million turkeys and chickens, Reuters reported. No human infections have been reported in this outbreak.
“There’s no reason for anybody in the state of Minnesota to be concerned about their own health,” Governor Mark Dayton (D) said at a press conference on Thursday after declaring the state of emergency.
Nevertheless, state health officials said they were expediting prescriptions for the antiviral drug Tamiflu for farm workers and others who have been in direct contact with infected flocks. That step follows recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.