'You got it': how bird flu turned one US farmer's life upside down squib

Greg Langmo’s decades-old business was among those hit when a lethal strain decimated poultry barns across America

In April 2015, Greg Langmo’s five turkey farms teemed with toms, hens and chicks. His family’s decades-old business in Meeker county, Minnesota, was thriving, and the hundreds of thousands of birds he bred and sold each year were healthy.

And then, late one evening, Langmo’s phone rang. Birds in one of his barns, usually active, were sitting, unable to make the short walk to their feeders and waterers. The following morning, he found hundreds of limp, white-feathered bodies. Langmo sent some dead toms to the University of Minnesota’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory. That night, the farmer lay sleepless. Again, his phone rang. It was a vet from the lab: “You got it.”

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