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Texas Resident Contracts Bird Flu from Infected Dairy Cows

This is the first time the bird flu has been detected in dairy cattle, however, health officials insist there is no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply

Getty
Getty

A Texas resident is currently being treated for the bird flu (highly pathogenic avian influenza, HPAI) after direct exposure to infected dairy cattle, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The patient’s primary symptom was conjunctivitis and they are recovering after being treated with an antiviral drug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

While this is the second person in the United States to test positive for the illness, this is the first time the disease has been detected in dairy cattle, the American Veterinary Medical Association states.

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Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed that the virus was detected in cows in Texas, Kansas and Michigan, revealing that the virus may be spread between cattle. Preliminary testing reportedly suggests that herds in New Mexico and Idaho may also be infected.

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Picturegarden/Getty Images Hay vacas en Argentina. (There are cattle in Argentina.)
Picturegarden/Getty Images Hay vacas en Argentina. (There are cattle in Argentina.)

Related: CDC Confirms First Human Case of Bird Flu in Colorado Man

The federal and state agencies said they will continue to monitor the affected cattle and unpasteurized milk samples. The USDA, FDA and CDC also said there is currently no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply.

"Understanding the details surrounding the transfer of avian virus to livestock is the top priority of animal health professionals and agriculture agencies," Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, said in a statement. "While troubling, this outbreak is not currently expected to threaten our nation's commercial dairy supply."

Farmers and veterinarians are now encouraged to report any signs of illness quickly to minimize impacts on the cattle, farmers, consumers, and other animals.

Back in April 2022, the United States reported its first human case of bird flu after an inmate at a Colorado prison contracted the virus after direct exposure to infected poultry.

According to experts, infected birds shed flu viruses in their saliva, mucous, and feces. The HPAI has been found in commercial and backyard farms in 48 states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.

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Read the original article on People.