Highly Pathogenic H5N2 Avian Influenza - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Health Information for People Working with Avian Influenza Infected Flocks

Updated 11/17/15

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The risk of getting sick with avian influenza if you have cared for infected birds is very low.

  • No one has gotten sick with the H5N2 strain of avian influenza in Minnesota or in the U.S.
  • However, similar highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses have made people sick in other parts of the world.

Even though the risk is low, there are some things you can do to stay healthy.

  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with flocks that have tested positive or negative for avian influenza. The equipment you should wear includes goggles or safety glasses, a face mask, gloves, coveralls and boots.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth while working.
  • When you are done working, take off your equipment and wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand gel until hands can be washed.

Contact the Minnesota Department of Health if you have symptoms.
Contact Joni Scheftel or Stacy Holzbauer at 651-201-5414 if you get any of these symptoms within 10 days of working with birds on an infected farm:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny nose
  • Eye infection

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are sick with avian influenza, but we will help get testing and care if needed.

Updated Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 11:49AM