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Bird Flu spreads to dairy cows in 12 states

Bird Flu spreads to dairy cows in 12 states

By Jamie Martin

Bird flu, a highly contagious virus affecting birds, has now spread to dairy cows in 12 states across the US. This development raises concerns for dairy farmers facing production setbacks due to milk losses.

Iowa, one of the recently affected states, is urging the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to compensate farmers for their losses.

The outbreak began in late March when the H5N1 virus was detected on a Texas dairy farm. Since then, the USDA has tracked nearly 90 bird flu cases in cattle. While many cows recover with treatment, some succumb to the virus or are culled to prevent further spread.

The situation is concerning because, unlike poultry, bird flu isn't as severe in dairy cows. However, recent studies raise worries.

Researchers infected ferrets, considered a model for humans, with a bird flu strain from Texas. All ferrets died, highlighting the potential for the virus to evolve and become more dangerous.

Although the risk to humans remains low, health and agriculture agencies continue monitoring the situation. This outbreak underscores the interconnectedness of the agricultural industry and the importance of collaboration between farmers, governments, and public health officials to mitigate such threats.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-minchen-liang-eyeem

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