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Positive Bird Flu Tests in Cattle on Dairy Farms

Milk and nasal swab samples from sick cattle on at least two dairy farms in Texas and two in Kansas have tested positive for bird flu, according to federal and state officials. The agencies are quickly conducting more testing for the illness, known as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

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Flu-Like Symptoms in Cattle

Cattle are exhibiting flu-like symptoms and producing discolored milk, as per Texas state officials. The source of infection is believed to be wild migratory birds, with reports of farms finding dead wild birds on their properties.

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Minimal Risk to Food Safety

Officials have assured that the infections among cattle pose minimal risk to human food safety or milk supply and prices. Milk from affected cattle is either being diverted or destroyed to prevent contamination of the food supply. Additionally, the pasteurization process significantly reduces the chances of infected milk entering the market.

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Regulatory Measures for Raw Milk

State regulations in Texas and Kansas mandate specific testing and labeling requirements for dairy farms selling raw milk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly advise against consuming raw milk due to potential foodborne illnesses associated with unpasteurized products.

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Monitoring and Investigation

Federal and state officials are actively monitoring older cows in Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico, while Iowa authorities are closely watching the situation. Investigations are ongoing to understand the extent of the infections and prevent further spread among livestock.

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Preventing Spread to Humans

Unlike poultry outbreaks, mammalian bird flu infections are not expected to require large-scale culling efforts. Although rare, avian flu can jump from birds to humans, highlighting the importance of containing the spread among animals to prevent potential human infections.

The AI legalese decoder can help in assessing the legal risks and regulatory requirements for preventing zoonotic diseases and ensuring that adequate measures are in place to protect public health.

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