Deadly bird flu returns to Midwest earlier than expected

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bird flu has returned to the Midwest earlier than authorities expected after a lull of several months. 

Officials say the highly pathogenic disease was detected in two commercial turkey flocks in western Minnesota’s Meeker County. Tests confirmed the disease Tuesday evening. 

Officials also report that a small hobby flock of chickens, ducks and geese in Elkhart County, northern Indiana, tested presumptively positive Tuesday. 

They were the first detections of avian influenza in the Midwest since an infection in Indiana in June. 

However, there have been several in western states in July and August, plus a few in some eastern states.

In Iowa, the last quarantine associated with a bird flu outbreak at a commercial flock was lifted in mid-July. A total of 13.3 million birds were euthanized in Iowa due to this year’s outbreak.