UPDATE 2-Minnesota declares state of emergency over bird flu in poultry

Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:19pm EDT
 
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* Minnesota is second U.S. state to declare emergency over bird flu

* State recommends antiviral drugs for exposed farm workers

* Could call out national guard if needed

* Risk of human infection seen low - health authorities

* National Guard will be called up if needed - Minnesota governor (Adds details of outbreak, Minnesota governor comments)

By P.J. Huffstutter

CHICAGO, April 23 (Reuters) - Minnesota declared a state of emergency on Thursday over a fast-spreading strain of avian flu that has led to the extermination of more than 7.3 million birds in the country. It followed Wisconsin's action on Monday.

The highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of bird flu has been identified on 46 Minnesota farms in 16 counties and affected more than 2.6 million birds in the state.

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. No human infections have been reported in this outbreak.   Continued...