Number of US states with HPAI-infected dairy cows grows

Risk to human health still low
calendar icon 3 April 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

More dairy cattle in Idaho, New Mexico, and Texas have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI).

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced April 1 and 2 that these mark the first known cases of HPAI in cattle in Idaho and New Mexico, and add to the two detections in Texas and two in Kansas that were announced on March 25.

To date, the USDA has confirmed the detection of HPAI in seven dairy herds in Texas, two in Kansas, and one each in Idaho, Michigan, and New Mexico. The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) is currently performing confirmatory tests on presumptive positive results from Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, and Texas. While these samples are from cattle with at least some clinical signs in common with other cattle diagnosed with HPAI, the USDA says the presence of HPAI should not be considered confirmed until the NVSL analysis is complete.

The NVSL has also confirmed that the H5N1 strain of the virus found in subsequent states is very similar to the strain originally confirmed in cattle in Texas and Kansas that appears to have been introduced by wild birds.

The Michigan dairy herd had recently received cows from Texas, according to the USDA.

And the Idaho State Department of Agriculture announced March 28 that it had identified its first cases of HPAI in a Cassia County dairy cattle operation. The affected facility recently imported cattle from another state that had previously identified cases of HPAI in cattle.

In New Mexico, the Alamogordo Daily News reported earlier that there have been cases of HPAI infection in cattle in Curry County, citing a statement from US Senator Martin Heinrich’s office.

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