HPAI Detections in US Livestock

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working with State animal and Public health officials to investigate an illness among dairy cows in Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico.  This illness, primarily seen in older cows, is causing decreased lactation and low appetite among other symptoms.

On March 25th the agencies confirmed the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in unpasteurized, clinical samples of milk form two dairy farms in Kansas and one in Texas, and an oropharyngeal swab from a farm in Texas. Findings from Texas indicate wild migratory birds as the source of infection, with additional testing being initiated after farms reported finding deceased wild birds on properties.

Initial testing done by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories’ (NVSL) has not found changes to the virus that would make it more transmissible to humans, indicating that the risk to the public remains low.  The USDA, FDA, and CDC have also indicated that there is no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply at this stage, due to federal animal health requirements and pasteurization.

A full press release is available here. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and USDA and federal and state partners will continue to share additional updates as soon as information becomes available. More information on biosecurity measures can be found here.