- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has declared a state of emergency due to the rapid expansion of the H5N2 bird flu strain in the state. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called for a state of emergency due to the bird flu Monday.
- The most recent count of infected farms is 46 in 16 counties. These outbreaks, all reported since early March, have led to the deaths of more than 2.6 million birds in Minnesota.
- One case reported Thursday was from the first backyard flock, as opposed to all of the prior commercial flocks, and confirmation was still pending to determine whether the state's first chicken farm has been infected as well.
The bird flu has been running rampant across many states.
In addition to worries from farmers, consumers and food companies that depend on poultry for their products have been concerned as well. Federal and local Minnesota health officials insist that the likelihood of human contamination is low and that products in the stores should not be affected. As a preventative measure, Minnesota state health officials have doled out the prescription antiviral drug Tamiflu to some farm workers and others who might have come into direct contact with infected birds.
The governor will also meet with turkey producers in Willmar, home base for Jennie-O Turkey Store, the second-largest turkey processor in the U.S., to discuss their concerns and field questions. Hormel is one company in particular that is taking a hit from the situation, as its Jennie-O brand has been significantly affected by its bird flu-infected farms.