Bird flu detected in herd of North Carolina cattle

Highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu, was recently detected in a North Carolina dairy herd, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Avian flu, detected by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL), has already been detected in dairy herds in Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Idaho, New Mexico and Ohio.

Steve Troxler, the state’s agriculture commissioner, said the Food and Drug Administration has “no concerns about the safety or availability of pasteurized dairy products nationwide.”

“This is an evolving situation, and we are awaiting more NVSL diagnoses and will work collaboratively with our federal partners and North Carolina dairy producers,” Troxler said. “We have spent years developing methods to manage HPAI in poultry, but this is new and we are working with our state and federal partners to develop protocols to manage this situation.”

Avian flu outbreaks are reported in several states. The virus can spread to other animals, such as livestock.

Dr. Michael Martin, North Carolina’s state veterinarian, said the risk of human infection remains extremely low. Last week, the second case of human infection was recorded in the United States after a worker at a dairy farm in Texas tested positive.

The state has placed restrictions on the importation of cattle from infected areas, and movements of cattle from states with affected herds to North Carolina have been suspended.

“Currently, any milk from an infected cow is discarded. And pasteurization of milk is fortunately a standard in the United States and pasteurization of milk kills all kinds of bugs,” Martin said.

Health authorities are warning consumers not to drink raw milk. In North Carolina, the sale of raw milk is prohibited.

In March 2022, a Johnston County poultry farm had to preemptively euthanize approximately 32,000 turkeys after a positive sample within the flock. The positive sample was the first case of avian flu in domestic poultry in North Carolina.

Also in 2022, North Carolina became the first state to record a case of bird flu spreading to a black bear.

“Animals that pick this up, like a bear, come across a deceased waterbird or something, and they’ve consumed it,” said Greg Batts, a North Carolina wildlife biologist. “The same could be said of a hawk.”

News Source :
Gn Health

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