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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A wild fox in Anoka County has tested positive for the avian flu strain that has stricken nearly 3 million birds in commercial poultry flocks throughout Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the fox was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory. It appears to be only the third confirmed case of the avian flu associated with the current outbreak in a wild mammal in North America. Two red fox kits in Ontario Canada tested positive for the virus last week.

“Wild animals can sometimes transmit diseases to humans, and while we typically think of rabies or other well-known diseases as the primary concerns, this shows that there are other risks to keep in mind as well,” said Dr. Joni Scheftel, state public health veterinarian with the Minnesota Department of Health. “The best advice we have for Minnesotans is to avoid contact with wildlife that appear sick or injured and contact your healthcare provider if you are bitten or have other close contact with wildlife.”

Kim David/TSM
Kim David/TSM
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The DNR says anyone who finds sick or dead waterfowl and raptors are being asked to contact the agency to file a report. Officials say nearly 200 wild birds, primarily waterfowl and raptors, have been found to be infected since the outbreak began in February. A news release says the DNR routinely conducts testing on sick wildlife for many wildlife diseases, including canine distemper and rabies and it is now adding avian influenza to the routine screening process for foxes that exhibit neurological symptoms.

Rochester, Minnesota Athletes Need a Miracle for Their Field!

The Miracle Field in Rochester, Minnesota needs a miracle!

Back in 2006, Miracle Field was constructed to allow all abilities the opportunity to get on the field to enjoy a game of baseball rather than just cheering from the sidelines. The field is a barrier-free, handicapped-accessible baseball field that is enjoyed by many but unfortunately, the field is no longer safe and needs to be restored.

The cost to restore Miracle Field is $200,000 and thankfully, over $90,000 has already been donated.

With the communities help, the goal of $200,000 will be met, and "Play Ball" will once again be cheered in June 2022.

To Donate - Click on the link below to support our athletes with disabilities. This is an easy, safe, and secure way to make tax-deductible donations.