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Avian influenza cases continue to increase in South Dakota

Highly pathogenic avian influenza continues to spread across South Dakota.

State veterinarian Beth Thompson tells Brownfield 18 commercial flocks and at 3 backyard flocks have been impacted by the virus this fall. The latest confirmed case is a commercial turkey flock in Yankton County.

“The virus is following the same track as last fall. Last fall, South Dakota had 35 flocks that had HPAI. We’re getting back up to that number.”

She says turkey and poultry producers have ramped up their biosecurity efforts, but somehow the virus is getting through.

“I don’t know if it’s airborne, if it’s coming in on feed. I don’t know if there’s a possibility of small rodents or smaller birds that might be carrying the virus, but somehow it’s getting in and it’s not the people.”

She says until the weather gets colder, more confirmed cases are expected and if farmers expect HPAI on their farm, they should contact their local veterinarian.

South Dakota has experienced a lot of HPAI losses on turkey farms, but USDA says Iowa and Minnesota are the top two states that have been affected by HPAI this fall.

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