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Routine tests turn up avian flu in Minnesota turkeys

Thousands of turkeys in Minnesota have been quarantined after a strain of avian flu (H7N9) was found at a poultry farm there. Experts say that the strain is markedly less virulent than H5N1, the Asian strain that has caused more than 250 human deaths and millions of poultry deaths.

"It would appear that it's a pretty mild form of the avian influenza virus on this premise," Dave Lauer, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health's assistant director told Minnesota Public Radio. The station reports, however, that it's not unusual for more than a dozen cases of the low-pathogenic virus to be reported on commercial poultry farms in any given year.

The virus was discovered as part of routine testing, which has increased since new recommendations were put into place this spring.

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