Little to no U.S. immunity to H5N1 avian flu virus, CDC says

Blood tests show "there is extremely low to no population immunity" among Americans to the H5N1 avian flu virus, said the Centers for Disease Control. Most of the population would be vulnerable if the virus mutated to become more readily contagious, said the CDC, but it has identified two candidate vaccines that would offer "good cross-protection" against it.

Iowa asks USDA to compensate farmers for cows culled due to H5N1 virus

The federal government should compensate dairy farmers who send dairy cattle to slaughter because of the H5N1 avian flu virus, said Iowa state Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig, in announcing the second outbreak in the state. At least 90 herds in 12 states from Wyoming to North Carolina have been infected since bird flu was discovered in cattle in Texas in March.

USDA aims to isolate, exhaust H5N1 virus in dairy herds

The USDA's strategy against bird flu in dairy cattle is to identify infected herds and wait for the virus to die out within the herds, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. "I'm confident we have a good understanding of the virus and how it is being transferred," he added.

Idaho alpacas are first in the world to be infected with bird flu

Four alpacas in a small Idaho herd were infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus —  the first known infection of alpacas in the world, said the Agriculture Department on Tuesday. The alpacas were on the same backyard farm that culled its poultry earlier this month due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

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: 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.

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)

Bird flu virus susceptible to antiviral meds used against seasonal flu, says CDC

Testing has confirmed that antiviral medications used against the seasonal flu would be effective against the H5N1 bird flu virus that also infects dairy cattle, said the Centers for Disease Control. The USDA said on Monday the virus has been confirmed in 33 dairy herds in eight states since it was first identified on March 25.

USDA: Test for bird flu before interstate transport of cattle

Michigan officials said the H5N1 bird flu virus has infected three additional dairy herds in the state, just as the USDA recommended farmers test their herds for the virus before moving cattle between states. The tests "should both give us more ... information and should mitigate further state-to-state spread between herds," said the USDA's animal health agency.

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.