Source: WGTL 

Two weeks after the USDA mandated testing and reporting for interstate dairy cattle movements due to bird flu concerns, Illinois reports no H5N1 cases. This follows detection in the U.S. milk supply, prompting increased biosecurity and monitoring in Illinois farms. Although H5N1 was initially detected in Texas livestock, likely transmitted by wild birds, its spread to Illinois dairy herds hasn’t been observed. Mark Ernst, Illinois State Veterinarian, notes low mortality and recovery in cows, albeit with reduced milk production post-infection.

The USDA has outlined symptoms for immediate reporting, emphasizing rigorous biosecurity to prevent H5N1 spread. Scientists are investigating how the virus contaminates milk, suspecting transmission during milking. Pasteurization remains effective against the virus, ensuring the safety of dairy products. The virus currently affects only dairy cattle, not beef cattle, and poses a minimal risk to public health, with the first human case reported in a Texas dairy worker. Illinois has over 600 dairy farms with about 73,000 cows, vigilantly monitored for any virus signs.

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