Bird flu found in Iowa dairy herd – Iowa

(The Center Square) – The first known case of highly pathogenic bird flu in an Iowa dairy farm was reported this week, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

The case was discovered in a dairy herd in O’Brien County.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed more than 80 dairy cases in other states, including South Dakota, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Kansas, Idaho and Colorado.

It is not thought to pose a threat to humans, and there are no known human cases in Iowa, according to the department.

“Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza among dairy cattle in many other states, it is no surprise that a case would occur given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus remains fatal to poultry. Our ministry team has prepared for this eventuality and will soon announce additional measures to protect our herds.”

Last week, Iowa had its first reported case of bird flu, affecting more than 4 million birds in a flock of laying hens in Sioux City. On Wednesday, the Agriculture Department said the genomic sequence of that virus was consistent with the variant found in dairies in other states.

Bird flu was also detected in a commercial flock of turkeys in Cherokee County.

“Poultry producers and dairy farmers should take immediate steps to strengthen their biosecurity defenses, limit unnecessary visitors and report symptomatic birds or livestock to the ministry. This remains an evolving situation and we will continue to communicate closely with stakeholders, USDA and other states as we evaluate our response. Our top priority is protecting our livestock and the farmers and the people who care for them,” Naig said.

Consumers can continue to enjoy poultry products, the Agriculture Department said, and proper handling and preparation of eggs and poultry products should continue to be used.

While there are no known human cases of bird flu in Iowa, the CDC confirmed three cases in dairy workers in Texas and Michigan. However, the threat to humans remains “low,” the CDC said. The dairy workers only reported symptoms of an eye infection.

There are currently nine states with bird flu outbreaks in cows and 48 states with poultry outbreaks, according to the CDC.

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