State officials say the first cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Minnesota poultry flocks have not caused any human illness.   Department of Health veterinarian Doctor Joni Sheftel says there is no threat to the public or any food safety risk:

“The potential risk is only for poultry workers and other people who have direct contact with those infected birds. We provide guidance to poultry workers and others, backyard poultry flock owners, too, on precautions to take while handling affected birds and then we monitor their health for ten days after their last exposure.”

A U-S-D-A emergency response team is coming to Minnesota to support the state’s avian influenza control and containment efforts.  Cases have been confirmed in Meeker, Mower and Stearns counties.