IDOA & IDPH Monitoring H5N1 Influenza in Dairy Cattle

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

While no cases have been reported in Illinois, federal agencies confirmed the detection of H5N1 influenza virus in dairy herds in eight states across the U.S. The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are working closely to monitor the situation and are jointly coordinating prevention and response measures. This includes working with producer groups and partner organizations to promote education to veterinarians and cattle farmers on the clinical signs of H5N1 influenza so that potential infections can be quickly identified and contained. Effective this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has implemented mandatory testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle as well as mandatory reporting of positive results to limit the spread of the disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emphasizes that the commercial milk supply is safe because of the pasteurization process, which destroys bacteria and viruses in milk. Protocols are also in place to destroy milk from affected dairy animals. Illinois is home to more than 600 dairy farms with 73,000 cows or calves, based on USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service estimates.

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