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Bird flu detected in cows at two Kansas dairy farms. Milk is safe to drink, feds say

Wichita Eagle - 3/25/2024

Mar. 25—Cows at two dairy farms in Kansas tested positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, commonly known as bird flu, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.

Public and federal health officials are investigating the illnesses but say it does not impact milk that is sold in Kansas grocery stores, according to a USDA news release.

"There is no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply or that this circumstance poses a risk to consumer health," the USDA said.

Testing was done Friday on dairy cows in Kansas, Texas and New Mexico after reports from farms that found dead birds on their properties.

"Initial testing by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories has not found changes to the virus [HPAI] that would make it more transmissible to humans," the USDA said. "Which would indicate that the current risk to the public remains low."

Milk from sick dairy cows will be destroyed so it does enter the public food supply chain.

HPAI usually does not infect humans, although there have been rare instances when it did, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Agencies investigating the matter include the USDA, CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration among other state veterinary and public health officials.


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