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Dairy Cows In Texas Test Positive For Bird Flu

Courtesy: Rodrigo Abd/AP
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Sick cattle found on two dairy farms in Texas and two in Kansas have tested positive for bird flu. This comes following milk and nasal swab samples being collected.

More tests are swiftly being performed for the illness. It has been named as highly pathogenic avian influenza or HPAI.

Officials have noticed that some cattle have been showing flu-like symptoms and lactating various colors of milk. Wild migratory birds are probably responsible for the infections. This is because farms have discovered deceased wild birds on their properties.

The infections among the cattle have very low risk to human food safety, milk supply, and prices. Milk from sick cattle is now being destroyed or transported to another location. Pasteurization is needed for milk involved in interstate commerce. This decreases the chance of milk going into the food supply, officials say.

Milk samples that tested positive for bird flu were unpasteurized.

For a long time, officials have warned consumers not to drink raw milk or unpasteurized milk. These items can be purchased within some states including Texas and Kansas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that raw milk is “one of the riskiest foods.” It is connected to various foodborne sicknesses.

The loss of milk from sick cows isn’t enough to have a major impact on milk supply. It has been noted that there should be no impact on the price of milk or other dairy products.

In unusual cases, avian bird flu has gone from birds to humans. This was especially as an avian flu outbreak occurred in Hong Kong in 1997.

“Thankfully, research to-date has shown mammals appear to be dead-end hosts, which means they’re unlikely to spread HPAI any further,” one official said.




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