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Bird Flu hits dairy herds in North Carolina

By Farms.com

North Carolina has identified highly pathogenic avian influenza in a dairy herd, becoming the seventh state to report such an outbreak in cattle. The positive test prompted immediate action, with movement restrictions now in place for cattle from certain states to prevent further spread.

The infection was confirmed through tests conducted by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has noted over 20 affected herds nationwide since March. The disease, now termed "Bovine Influenza A Virus" by industry experts, aims to reassure the public about the safety of dairy and beef despite the unusual occurrence of bird flu in cattle.

Researchers are exploring several theories regarding the virus's introduction into dairy herds, including possible contamination from farm equipment or poultry litter used as fertilizer. These investigations are crucial as the virus has already shown the ability to jump from animals to humans, evidenced by a Texas farmworker contracting the virus.

With enhanced biosecurity measures in place, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to stress the low risk to the public but recommends protective measures for those in direct contact with infected animals.

As the situation develops, health officials and agricultural leaders are closely monitoring the virus's behavior and impact on both animal health and industry operations. The dairy farms are treating infected animals, focusing on recovery and containment rather than herd culling.


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