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Find follows diagnoses in New Mexico, Texas and Kansas.

Farm Press Staff

March 29, 2024

2 Min Read
Cows feeding
Dairy cows feed.USDA ARS

Idaho officials say an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza occurred at a dairy cattle operation in Cassia County, which abuts the Utah state line.

These are the first cases of HPAI in a dairy operation in Idaho, and follow detections of the bird disease discovered in dairy cattle in New Mexico, Texas and Kansas. The affected Idaho facility recently imported cattle from one of the other states, according to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

Officials say the virus may be transmitted from cow-to-cow as well as from infected birds that come in contact with cows.

The primary concern with this diagnosis is on-dairy production losses, as the disease has been associated with decreased milk production, the IDA notes.

While HPAI has devastated poultry flocks across the country in recent years, the death loss in cattle is very low and it doesn’t impact all cows in the herd, Kansas State University dairy specialist Mike Brouk has said.

“The highest percentage affected in the herd I’ve seen is about 20& of the animals impacted, lowest is 5%,” Brouk told a dairy association gathering earlier this month.

Infected cattle can show flu-like symptoms that first emerge when the animals refuse food and show signs of digestive upset, Brouk said. The cows with the most severe symptoms experience fever and a severe drop in milk production.

Related:Human HPAI case confirmed in Texas

Quarantine in place

The ISDA has placed a quarantine on the positive facility, meaning no livestock are permitted to enter or exit the infected premises, and is continuing to investigate via additional sampling.

The infected cattle are being quarantined from the rest of the herd on the facility, officials said. Pasteurized milk from affected cows does not present a human health concern, and the cows on the dairy will continue to produce milk and all animals will be cared for normally.

Livestock producers are urged to closely monitor herds for the following symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Constipation

  • Thickened or colostrum-like milk

  • Decreased milk production

If cows seem to be infected, contact a veterinarian immediately. Idaho officials also request that you fill out an HPAI livestock screen.

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