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Avian Influenza Found for First Time in US Livestock

Bird flu has been found in a Minnesota goat, marking the first time the disease has been detected in domestic livestock in the United States.

The goat had been on a farm in western Minnesota’s Stevens County, near a poultry flock that tested positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and reported by CBS.

The Minnesota board said this was the first time bird flu was found in what is known as a domestic ruminant, a class of animals that covers cattle, sheep, goats and similar animals.

Bird flu has been found in skunks, dogs, cats and a polar bear.

“This finding is significant because, while the spring migration is definitely a higher risk transmission period for poultry, it highlights the possibility of the virus infecting other animals on farms with multiple species,” State Veterinarian Dr. Brian Hoefs said.

The case came to light after several young goats died on the same land where some animals in a poultry flock were killed because of bird flu.

One goat then tested positive for H5N1 HPAI, the strain of bird flu that has been stalking poultry since 2022.

Since the first test, no other positive tests have turned up; no more goats have been sickened since March 11.

Hoefs said the goats are not likely to spread the disease further, according to KARE-TV.

“Thankfully, research to date has shown mammals appear to be dead-end hosts, which means they’re unlikely to spread HPAI further,” he said,

Hoefs said the deaths of the young goats could be due to very specific circumstances.

“I think this probably reflects more a case of an immune-compromised individual. Specifically, these were young goats approximately a week of age, their immune systems weren’t very strong yet and they were exposed to a pretty heavy viral burden,” he said, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

The virus has not morphed to become spreadable by mammals, he said.

“Our colleagues at the national level are telling us that this is likely a limited incident,” he said.

However, he said, the case is a reminder of the danger posed by bird flu.

“The message is biosecurity, biosecurity, biosecurity. We want to make sure that we are preventing any similar exposures,” he said.

Hoefs said the risk of the virus to humans is very low, according to CBS.

READ 10 COMMENTS
  • EZ says:

    there are how many of us and how many of them, but we sit back like these flocks allowing them to destroy life as we know it. youth are useless, this is a situation you must fight for yourselves, mommy and daddy too old to fix this one for ya

  • Reality says:

    Welcome to another exciting episode of
    AS THE WORLD BURNS starring Satan Joe and the Final AntiChrist

  • Barb N says:

    More fear porn in the lead up to election. The beginning of an excuse to kill all domestic animals?

  • John sweet says:

    Since they are not meat animals they are likely for milking does the avian influenza carry in the milk?

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