bird flu in dairy herd

H5N1 virus was spread by cattle, people and shared equipment

After the H5N1 avian flu virus jumped from birds to dairy cattle in Texas last December, it was spread across the country by infected cows, contaminated machinery, and people who inadvertently carried the virus on their clothes and footwear from farm to farm, said USDA scientists on Thursday. Officials said the risk to the public was low because the virus has not shown signs of adapting to humans. “We should be, as we are, alert, not alarmed,” said Nirav Shah, the CDC’s principal deputy director.

Block sales of raw milk that may contain H5N1 virus, FDA asks states

To reduce the risk of bird flu infections, state health officials should bar the sale of raw milk to consumers if it contains the H5N1 avian flu virus, said the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday. Although the FDA has long warned that raw milk is a high-risk food that may carry disease-causing pathogens, more than 30 states allow the sale of unpasteurized milk from the farm, in retail stores, or through so-called cow shares.

Bird flu infects dairy herd in Iowa, 10th state to be hit

A dairy herd in northwestern Iowa is infected with the H5N1 avian flu virus, said state agriculture secretary Mike Naig on Wednesday. He called on dairy and poultry farmers to “harden their biosecurity defenses” against the virus.

In a first, farmworker infected with bird flu has respiratory symptoms

A farmworker in Michigan is the first person to experience respiratory symptoms after contracting bird flu from dairy cows infected with the H5N1 virus, said Michigan officials on Thursday. It was the third U.S. case of cow-to-human transmission and the second in Michigan. The Centers for Disease Control said the risk to the general public remained low.

Dairy worker in Michigan has bird flu in second case of cow-to-human infection

A worker on a Michigan dairy farm contracted a mild case of H5 bird flu from infected cattle — the second cow-to-human infection since bird flu was first identified in dairy cattle in late March — said the Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday. The risk to the public remains low, said Nirav Shah, the CDC’s principal deputy director.

USDA and HHS allot $199 million to quash bird flu threat to cattle and humans

The Biden administration poured $199 million into the fight against the H5N1 bird flu virus, which was identified in cattle for the first time seven weeks ago, a worrisome step closer to people. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said dairy farmers are eligible for up to $28,000 in USDA aid in three months to help eradicate the virus from their herds, and Health Secretary Xavier Becerra announced new funding among public health agencies to "test, treat, prevent" the virus from spreading.

CDC urges states to give PPE to farmworkers as bird flu safeguard

States should open their stockpiles of personal protective equipment for distribution to farmworkers, with top priority for dairy farms where cows are infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus, said a Centers for Disease Control official. Meanwhile, the Agriculture Department confirmed six additional cases of bird flu in cattle on Thursday, ending a 12-day pause in new cases.

‘Absolute barrier’ against spread of bird flu virus is impossible, says Califf

The agriculture and food industry is entering an era of stepped-up precautions against the spread of the H5N1 bird flu virus now that it has appeared in cattle for the first time, said FDA commissioner Robert Califf at a Senate hearing on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, there is no absolute barrier that can be created,” he said.

CDC: Texas farmworker only person known to contract bird flu from cattle

At least 200 people have been monitored for possible exposure to the H5N1 bird flu virus and 30 people have been tested, but a dairy worker in Texas is the only person known to contract the disease from cattle, said the Centers for Disease Control. "No additional human cases have been detected" since bird flu was discovered for the first time in cattle six weeks ago.

H5N1 virus was undetected for months in dairy cattle, researchers say

Genetic testing indicates the H5N1 bird flu virus jumped from wild birds to dairy cattle in Texas approximately four months before it was identified in late March, said a nationwide team of researchers. “Continued transmission of H5N1 HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] within dairy cattle increases the risk for infection and subsequent spread of the virus to human populations.”

Bird flu virus likely travels from cow to cow via milk, says USDA

The “primary vector” for transmitting the H5N1 bird flu virus from dairy cow to dairy cow seems to be milk from an infected animal, said the USDA’s chief veterinary officer on Wednesday. Dr. Rosemary Sifford also said the USDA was considering whether to offer compensation to dairy farmers for cooperating in the investigation of the disease and for adopting stronger biosecurity safeguards.

FDA: Bird flu viral fragments in milk were dead; pasteurization works

Although fragments of the H5N1 bird flu virus were found in one-fifth of milk purchased in grocery stores, a new round of high-precision testing "did not detect any live, infectious virus" and reaffirmed that the commercial milk supply is safe, said the FDA. (No paywall)

USDA mandates bird flu tests of dairy cows before transport

Dairy farmers will be required to test their cattle for the H5N1 bird flu virus before shipping them across state lines, announced Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday as the government tries to prevent the spread of the disease and learn more about how it is transmitted. The virus, a lethal threat to poultry, has moved from cow to cow, herd to herd, and cow to poultry, and has appeared in cows with no symptoms.

USDA assesses vaccine to protect cattle from bird flu virus

The Agriculture Department said its research agency “has begun to assess the potential to develop an effective vaccine” against the H5N1 bird flu virus in cattle, although it warned that it is too early to say how long the process would take. The virus has so far infected 29 dairy herds in eight states, though there have been no detections in commercial beef herds since the disease was identified in cattle in late March.

HPAI found in dairy cows in seventh state

The H5N1 bird flu virus has been found in a dairy herd in North Carolina, said state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler on Wednesday, making it the seventh state in a little over two weeks to report infected cattle. “We have spent years developing ways to handle HPAI in poultry, but this is new, and we are working with our state and federal partners to develop protocols to handle this situation,” he said.

USDA confirms bird flu in 12th dairy herd, is testing more

USDA scientists confirmed the bird flu virus in a dairy herd in Idaho on Tuesday — the 12th herd in five states — with Ohio appearing for the first time on the list of states with "presumptive positive" results that will be double-checked. Meanwhile, officials said a Texas egg farm suffered the largest U.S. outbreak of bird flu in four months.