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Avian flu strikes South Dakota dairy cows

Avian flu strikes South Dakota dairy cows

By Scout Nelson

In South Dakota, an outbreak of avian flu has led to the culling of several dairy cows, as reported by state health officials and Russ Daly, a Public Health Veterinarian with South Dakota State University Extension.

This strain of flu, unlike typical forms affecting respiratory systems in other species, targets the milk-producing parts of cows, causing significant concerns over milk safety.

As the virus spread across various states, affecting over 80 dairy herds, South Dakota witnessed the culling of about two dozen cows, some due to the flu and others due to secondary infections.

This situation has led to heightened safety measures on farms to protect dairy workers from potential exposure through infected milk.

Daly emphasizes the need for increased protective gear such as masks and face shields to prevent milk splash, which could transmit the virus to humans.

Although the infection rate among people is currently low, with only three confirmed cases nationally and none in South Dakota, the risk remains a concern.

The USDA has been actively monitoring the situation, ensuring that infected products do not reach consumers. They have conducted studies showing that the virus does not survive in beef cooked to medium-well temperatures, reassuring the public about the safety of their food.

For livestock, the approach differs slightly from poultry, where depopulation is commonly recommended. Most affected cows can recover with appropriate treatment, like flu treatments in humans, highlighting the need for effective management and prevention strategies in these challenging times.

Photo Credit -gettyimages-digitalvision

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Categories: South Dakota, Livestock, Dairy Cattle

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