Cattle Infected with ‘Super Bird Flu’ Now Detected in 6 States

2024-04-04 08:00:53

We have been closely following reports about the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), especially after it was detected in cattle in Texas, Kansas, and Michigan.

Three more states are now reporting “super bird flu” infected livestock.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture reports that a Wood County herd has tested positive for A(HPAI).

The cattle that tested positive came to a dairy operation in Wood County from Texas on March 8. State officials were notified when the cattle began exhibiting symptoms similar to herds infected with bird flu in other states. Most sick cows recover within a few days, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

This H5N1 strain of bird flu, among the deadliest forms according to the Associated Press, has been found in dairy cows in Texas, Kansas, Idaho, New Mexico and Michigan.

New Mexico dairy cows are also sick with bird flu.

On Tuesday, the state’s top veterinarian said that cows from two separate herds have been confirmed positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza and another herd has “presumptive positives,” meaning suspected positive cases.

All of the known cases are in Curry County.

“We don’t have an actual count of the cows individually,” said New Mexico State Veterinarian Samantha Uhrig. “We have a number of herds that have been confirmed.”

The Idaho Department of Agriculture reports that there are also cases at a dairy farm in Cassia County.

The dairy had recently brought in 105 cattle from Texas, where HPAI has been confirmed in dairy cattle, said Dr. Scott Leibsle, Idaho’s state veterinarian.

As of March 28, those imported cattle were not showing signs of illness. But the timing of the cows’ arrival on the farm and when resident cows were diagnosed with HPAI suggests the virus might have been transmitted from cow to cow, he said.

The department has quarantined the infected farm, and no cattle can enter or leave. The infected cattle are also separated from the rest of the herd.

The quarantine is to prevent the virus from traveling off the facility, Leibsle said.

Legal Insurrection readers may recall that a Texas man was reported to be infected with HPAI after contact with cattle. It turns out, cats can be infected, too (per a test result obtained from the Texas Animal Health Commission).

…[I]nvestigators collected samples from several animals in Texas and Kansas. Wild birds, cats, and dairy cows were tested because they showed illness signs. “Further testing of these samples indicated the presence of avian influenza A(H5N1),” the TDSHS said. A press officer from the TDSHS confirmed in an e-mail that sick cats tested positive for the virus.

The Texas Animal Health Commission said in an e-mail that it has received lab confirmation of HPAI for three cats.

Wild birds on affected farms had earlier tested positive for H5N1, and evidence is growing that the virus may be spreading cow to cow. Investigations are still underway to sort out how the virus is spreading on farms, which includes identifying the extent of virus circulation in other animals or wildlife.

Cats are among the mammals previously known be contract H5N1, with infections reported in the United States, Poland, and South Korea.


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