DNR tests for virus in Minnesota.

The DNR is among five state and federal agencies responding to the state’s outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which began March 2015, …

A lot is not known about the origin of this virus in Minnesota. DNR’s goal is to determine if wild birds are harboring the HPAI virus and learn as much as possible about it, thus providing any critical information that might aid in stopping the outbreak or preventing further spread.

Initially, DNR implemented a three-pronged approach to HPAI surveillance:
Collect waterfowl fecal samples throughout Minnesota;
Ask successful turkey hunters from Kandiyohi, Pope, Meeker, Swift and Stearns counties to submit their harvested bird for testing;
Collect dead birds of various species reported by the public.
DNR’s goal was to collect 3,000 waterfowl fecal samples, which was completed April 30. Staff collected half the samples within Board of Animal Health identified surveillance areas and half in areas not currently affected by HPAI. Staff located areas used by waterfowl or enticed waterfowl to bait sites and collected samples and location data. DNR staff did not enter infected farm properties and did not capture live waterfowl because landscape conditions changed daily. At the time of the outbreak, fecal collection was the most efficient and feasible surveillance method. The agency collected hunter-harvested turkeys through May 28, the end of the spring season. Staff will continue to collect other dead birds reported by the public during the emergency.
While this virus is new, DNR conducted extensive HPAI surveillance from 2006-2010, when more than 12,000 birds were tested and no HPAI virus was detected, …

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