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Ohio dairy cows found positive for avian influenza

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has reported that a cattle herd in Wood County, Ohio, has tested positive for bird flu. Confirmation of this test result is currently pending from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The infected cattle arrived at a dairy operation in Wood County from Texas on March 8. State officials were alerted when the cattle began displaying symptoms consistent with bird flu infections observed in other states. Fortunately, most affected cows typically recover within a few days, as indicated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

This particular strain of bird flu, identified as H5N1, is considered one of the most lethal forms, according to the Associated Press. Cases of H5N1 bird flu have been documented in dairy cows in various states, including Texas, Kansas, Idaho, New Mexico, and Michigan.

Health authorities at both state and federal levels are actively evaluating the associated risks. Despite the presence of bird flu, the Food and Drug Administration reassures the public that the overall health risk remains low.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a case of bird flu in a person from Texas on Monday, although no confirmed cases have been reported among Ohio residents.

Bird flu, caused by a family of influenza viruses primarily transmitted among birds, is categorized into two groups: low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). LPAI is commonly found in wild birds and typically causes mild or no illness, while HPAI results in severe disease and high mortality rates in infected birds.

The economic impact of bird flu is substantial, costing the government an estimated $660 million. Additionally, recent outbreaks have led to increased prices of eggs and poultry products. Last year, efforts to contain the virus resulted in the slaughter of at least 58 million birds.

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