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Highly contagious bird flu observed in birds and cattle in Kansas this year. Here’s the latest.

The deadly and highly contagious bird flu was discovered this year in birds and livestock in Kansas.

The disease, also known as “bird flu” and H5N1, has infected just one flock of birds in Kansas in recent months after 15 were infected in December and January, according to the Kansas Department of Agriculture website.

In addition, the disease was identified in two commercial dairy farms in Kansas in March and two more in April, the KDA said.

Which Kansas counties have bird flu hit this year?

Federal guidelines require that all birds be destroyed in any flock where HPAI is detected to try to slow the spread of the disease and alleviate the birds’ suffering, said Heather Landsdowne, KDA director of communications.

Symptoms in birds include coughing, sneezing, runny nose and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; reduced water consumption; reduced egg production and/or deformed soft-shelled eggs; a lack of coordination; and diarrhea.

Bird flu affected five flocks in Mitchell County in north-central Kansas, four in Rice County in central Kansas, two in McPherson and Barton counties in central Kansas, and one each in Shawnee and Pottawatomie counties, between December 4 and January 19. the northeast. Kansas, according to the KDA website.

The KDA quarantined all 15 affected buildings, but has since lifted those quarantines, the report said.

Bird flu was then discovered April 9 in a flock in Grant County in southwestern Kansas, which remains under quarantine, the KDA said.

This image illustrates some symptoms of bird flu, also known as bird flu "bird flu" and H5N1, which was found this year in cattle and birds in Kansas.This image illustrates some symptoms of bird flu, also known as bird flu "bird flu" and H5N1, which was found this year in cattle and birds in Kansas.

This image illustrates some symptoms of avian flu, also known as “bird flu” and H5N1, detected this year in cattle and birds in Kansas.

What about dairy cattle?

The KDA announced on March 25 that the first two cases of bird flu had been identified at commercial dairies in Kansas.

Two additional flocks in Kansas reported positive tests for bird flu in early April, the KDA said April 29, adding that the diseases were not expected to pose a risk to the public. Dairies may only sell milk from healthy cows.

The KDA has not announced where bird flu was found in dairy cattle.

Symptoms of bird flu are mainly confined to late-stage lactating cows and include a drop in milk production, loss of appetite and changes in manure consistency, the report said.

What is the risk of bird flu for humans?

The risk of bird flu to humans is believed to be low.

One dairy worker in Texas and Michigan has been identified as infected this year.

The only other human case in the US occurred in 2022 and involved a person incarcerated in a Colorado prison who was exposed to poultry infected with bird flu.

Contact Tim Hrenchir at [email protected] or 785-213-5934.

This article originally appeared in Topeka Capital-Journal: Highly contagious bird flu discovered this year in birds and cattle in Kansas