Dairy Cows at Farms Across U.S. Test Positive for Bird Flu

Dairy Cows at Farms Across U.S. Test Positive for Bird Flu

Livestock at several dairy farms across America have tested positive for bird flu, but officials say the risk to the public is not high.

On Friday, authorities with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said the virus has caused illness in cows in Texas, Kansas, and Michigan, NPR reported Sunday.

The officials also said there were presumptive positive test results for other herds living in the states of New Mexico and Idaho.

“It’s the first time the disease has been found in dairy cattle, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association,” the NPR article said.

Goats on a Minnesota farm where poultry had contracted the bird flu also came down with the virus, the Associated Press (AP) reported in late March.

The NPR article continued:

Government officials say the risk to the public amid the current outbreak remains low. Most past human infections have occurred after people had “unprotected exposures to sick or dead infected poultry,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And officials say the strain of the virus detected in Michigan is similar to the one found in Texas and Kansas, which was shown through initial testing not to include any changes that would make it more transmissible to humans.

USDA officials said the dairy supply is safe because those farms must divert or destroy milk from livestock affected by the illness.

“Additionally, pasteurization — which is required for milk entering interstate commerce — kills bacteria and viruses, including influenza,” the NPR report said.

When speaking about the situation, Dr. Dave Montgomery told News Nation people should be on “alert” but also noted that only raw milk products would pose a high risk of transmitting the illness “if it were to occur at all.”

He then pointed to the fact that “a large majority of the milk and the milk products that we consume here in the States is pasteurized” to make it safe for consumers:

Federal authorities say the loss of milk due to some of the livestock being sick will not hit the commercial supply very hard, and the cost for those products is not expected to rise, according to the NPR report.

Authorities believed the affected dairy cows became sick after contracting the strain known as H5N1 that possibly came from wild birds, the outlet added.

In November, the first cases of bird flu in 2023 were confirmed at a duck breeding facility in Sumter County, Georgia, Breitbart News reported.

The farm was reportedly quarantined, and 30,000 ducks were set to be euthanized to stop the illness from spreading to other fowl.

Originally Posted on: https://www.breitbart.com/health/2024/04/01/video-dairy-cows-farms-across-u-s-test-positive-bird-flu-historic-outbreak/
[By: Amy Furr

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