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Bird flu has returned to the Midwest earlier than authorities expected after a lull of several months, with the highly pathogenic disease being detected in two commercial turkey flocks in Meeker County. They were the first detections of avian influenza in Minnesota since May 31, when a backyard flock was struck in Becker County.

The state Board of Animal Health says bird flu has been confirmed in a commercial turkey operation in Meeker County in central Minnesota and the flock has been euthanized to help prevent spread of the virus. The board later reported that a second flock in the county tested positive Tuesday evening.

A senior veterinarian with the state’s animal health department says they’ve been preparing for a resurgence of bird flu, but this outbreak came sooner than expected.