Bird Flu infects U.S. dairy cattle farms for first time.

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Multiple U.S. agencies said on Friday that for the first time, the rampant bird flu has spread to dairy cattle. Impacted cows have been found across several states as officials reemphasize the importance of only consuming pasteurized dairy products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the spread of the the bird flu, saying they tested sick cattle from dairy farms in Kansas and Texas. Those tests came back positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which has been impacting bird populations in Europe and Asia since August 2020 and “caused extensive morbidity and mortality events” in similar species across the U.S., according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

This marks the first time the bird flu has been found in dairy cattle, the American Veterinary Medical Association said, and the findings came just days after the virus was detected in goats on a Minnesota farm. In the fall, the bird flu also hit the polar bear species for the first time, killing one of the bears, and it has also spread to marine animals, killing tens of thousands of seals and sea lions.

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