Avian flu detected in North Carolina dairy herd

dairy cow

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The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDAC) today announced that tests have confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in one of the state's dairy herds, raising the number of affected states to seven.

Officials didn't detail the potential source of the virus, but said movements of cattle from earlier affected states has been suspended. 

The NCDAC said testing was conducted by the US Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

Across US, 21 herds now affected

Steve Troxler, North Carolina's agriculture commissioner, said, "This is an evolving situation, and we are waiting for more diagnostics from NVSL and will work collaboratively with our federal partners and dairy farmers in North Carolina."

He said animal health officials in the state have spent years developing steps to manage HPAI in poultry. "But this is new, and we are working with our state and federal partners to develop protocols to handle this situation."

This is an evolving situation, and we are waiting for more diagnostics.

Meanwhile, the number of dairy herds in previously affected states continue to grow, with the total now at 21. Among other recent detections, Michigan now has a second positive herd, along with more detections on farms in Texas and New Mexico.

In addition to North Carolina, 17 other states have tightened their cattle import rules to varying degrees.

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