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Cows Quarantined to Stop Bird flu Spread, Experts Concerned over Human Infection


Fears of the fast spreading avian flu are causing farms in numerous states to quarantine their cows.
Cattle imports from areas where the bird flu, generally known as H5N1, has been detected in dairy cows are restricted, according to health officials in 18 states. As a dairy farmer in Texas became the second American to test positive for bird flu, some experts are worried about a possible human outbreak, despite officials’ claims that the risk to people who consume beef is “very low.”

The former food safety advisor to the USDA and FDA, Dr. Darin Detwiler, advised Americans last week to stay away from rare meat and runny eggs while the livestock disease persisted.
Severe infections in humans can cause multiple organ failure, brain inflammation, and respiratory failure.

Following the discovery of the first infection in North Carolina last week, Maryland and North Carolina became the most recent states to impose restrictions on the transportation of cows.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) states that Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, and Tennessee are also on the list. Residents in states like New York have also been advised to avoid contact with local wildlife, including hawks, falcons, and geese, since they may also be carriers of the deadly virus. The USDA announced on April 2 that it will no longer be recommending state-level restrictions or issuing federal quarantine orders.

‘However, we strongly recommend minimizing movement of cattle as much as possible, with special attention to evaluating risk and factoring that risk into movement decisions. Do not move sick or exposed animals,’ the agency said.

When it comes to ensuring that only healthy cattle are transferred, producers, veterinarians, and health officials are encouraged to use “extreme diligence,” according to experts from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

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