Bird flu outbreak reported in Minnesota dairy herd, the state’s first

By Thomson Reuters Jun 6, 2024 | 10:01 AM

By P.J. Huffstutter and Leah Douglas

(Reuters) – The ongoing U.S. outbreak of avian flu in dairy cattle reached Minnesota on Thursday as the state announced its first infected herd.

More than 80 dairy herds have been infected with the virus across 11 states since late March, and three dairy workers have tested positive for the virus.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health said the farmer of the affected herd reported more than 40 cows with signs of fever. The animals were tested on Monday and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the positive test on Wednesday night.

“We knew it was only a matter of time before this detection would reach our doorstep,” said Brian Hoefs, the state veterinarian, in a statement. “It’s important for dairy farmers to follow the example of this herd and test sick cows.”

The other states that have reported infected herds so far are Idaho, Colorado, South Dakota, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, and North Carolina.

Dairy cows with avian flu have died or been slaughtered by farmers after not recovering, Reuters reporting found. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that the vast majority of cows recover from the illness.

(Reporting by Leah Douglas; Editing by Bill Berkrot)