Public health officials in Michigan are again warning against drinking unpasteurized, raw milk, this time because of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that has been found in dairy herds.

The virus has been found in dairy cattle in eight states, including Michigan. It has also been detected in wild mammals and birds as well as domestic chicken flocks. Millions of chickens have had to be destroyed because of the outbreak.

Two cases of infection from the virus have been confirmed in people in the United States and patients have been identified in other countries.

The Michigan health officials are

Continue Reading Michigan officials warn against raw milk amid outbreak of bird flu

A second person in the United States has tested positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)  virus. It was  reported by Texas and confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

This person had exposure to dairy cattle in Texas and was presumed to be infected with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses. The patient reported eye redness (consistent with conjunctivitis), as their only symptom, and is recovering. 

The patient was told to isolate and is being treated with an antiviral drug for flu. This infection does not change the H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S.

Continue Reading 2nd human Avian influenza virus infection reported in the U.S. – Risk remains low

Those Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses known as A(H5N1) that have led to the destruction of millions upon millions of birds around the world have, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also caused 19 human illnesses in eight countries.

Nine of these sporadic human cases were severe, and five resulted in death.  Three human illnesses were mild, and seven resulted in only asymptomatic cases. Only one of those cases involved a resident of the United States, which occurred in April 2022. 

“The individual reported fatigue without other symptoms, and a low level of A(H5N1) viral RNA

Continue Reading Five human deaths blamed on Avian flu with no signs of letting up

The Avian influenza summer break is not only over, it has been smashed. In the past 30 days, the virus has spread to 106 commercial flocks in 23 states. And California is the latest to report outbreaks —in two broiler operations in Stanislaus County and an egg-laying business in Sonoma County. 

The numbers depopulated are huge—270,000 at the Sonoma egg-laying operation and 239,900 and 254,400 birds at the two Stanislaus broiler operations. A third broiler operation in Stanislaus County has infections but has yet to make numbers available.

With the dramatic upturn in Avian influenza  (HPAI) cases, the number of

Continue Reading The avian flu virus is rapidly spreading through commercial flocks in the U.S.

After a summer pause, the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) epidemic in the United States resumed last month, first as a single event, then as a cluster of cases, and it is now spreading across at least 14 states.

The new outbreak cases first took the dead bird total to over 60 million, then the new spike went to over 61 million, and it continues to grow. It now includes a commercial table egg layer operation that counts its loses at 940,000 birds in Wright County, MN.  The virus last hit a commercial egg facility in Weld County, CO, on

Continue Reading Avian flu kills more than 61 million birds, but CDC still sees only a slight threat to humans

Avian flu is taking a holiday. It’s been three months since the H5N1 bird flu struck commercial poultry flocks in the United States. 

After a long string of infections required America’s poultry business to depopulate their flocks by 58.7 million birds in 2022-23, there is a welcomed break in the outbreak.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) last struck a commercial flock in the U.S. on April 18, 2023.

Veterinary experts told the 2023 Chicken Marketing Summit that nobody has a crystal ball to forecast what will happen.  While commercial poultry is getting a break in North America, the same cannot

Continue Reading Break in Avian flu infections by commercial flocks, but the future isn’t known

The first confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the United States since 2017 does not threaten human health, according to experts.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of the H7N3 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Chesterfield County, SC. APHIS said the HPAI strain appears to have mutated from a low pathogenic type found in the area recently to the more concerning highly pathogenic status.

China, Canada and Mexico responded to the finding by banning poultry slaughtered and processed in Chesterfield County and South Carolina.

The United States
Continue Reading Highly pathogenic avian flu in SC turkey flock is no threat to human health