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Bird Flu Infection Spreads to 3 more Dairy Herds: MDARD Report

Bird Flu

Three more Michigan dairy herds have tested positive for highly dangerous avian influenza.
The virus has been discovered in more herds in the counties of Clinton and Ionia, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The initial incidence was reported in Calhoun County. The state now has 21 in total as a result. Because to pasteurization and federal rules for animal health, several federal authorities, such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, assert that the commercial milk supply is safe.

“If animals are sick, they are not allowed to have that milk go into the bulk tank for sale. That milk is pulled,” Michigan State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland said. “The animals are not quarantined. We ask the herds to restrict movements and only move animals if absolutely necessary to be moved.”

The highly contagious HPAI virus can infect wild birds and then spread to other animals through contaminated equipment, feed, or even the caretakers’ clothing. In rare instances, the virus can even infect humans; two farm workers in Texas tested positive for HPAI in April, and another in Michigan tested positive last week, marking the second and third cases of HPAI in humans ever reported in the US; both workers recovered from their minor symptoms and did not infect anyone else despite possible exposures. The current HPAI outbreak, which began in February of 2022, has now affected over 92 million birds nationwide, making it the worst bird flu outbreak in American history.

In birds, HPAI almost always results in death, whereas in cows, the fatality rate is regarded as low.
MDARD’s phone number to report any suspicions of avian flu in domestic animals is 800.292.3939 during business hours, or 517.373.0440 after hours.

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