Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Dairy Cattle

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Updated Thursday, April 29, 2024

Tennessee Sample Submission Procedures – (Updated April 29, 2024) The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has compiled information regarding HPAI, as well as state and federal orders.

Federal Order Requiring Testing – (April 24, 2024) The Federal Order by the USDA APHIS requires mandatory testing for interstate movement of dairy cattle and mandatory reporting of any positive Influenza A nucleic acid detection diagnostic results. The order goes into effect on Monday, April 29th.

USDA Food and Drug Administration update (April 23, 2024) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with state partners, continue to investigate an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus impacting dairy cows in multiple states. Infection with the virus is causing decreased lactation, low appetite, and other symptoms in affected cattle.

The FDA and USDA have indicated that based on the information currently available, our commercial milk supply is safe because of these two reasons: 1) the pasteurization process and 2) the diversion or destruction of milk from sick cows. Additional information can be found on the FDA website.

Q & A from UTCVM Immunology & Virology Diagnostic Lab – (April 16, 2024)

NASHVILLE – (April 2, 2024) In response to the USDA confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in dairy cattle in four states, the state veterinarian has issued an order on dairy cattle movement to Tennessee from the affected premises.

As of April 1, 2024, Texas, Kansas, Michigan, and New Mexico had confirmed cases of HPAI in dairy cattle and results for a presumptive positive test for a herd in Idaho are pending at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL). NVSL confirmed that the strain is H5N1, which has been circulating in wild birds for the last several years and appears to have been introduced to these herds by wild birds.

Although there have been no detections of HPAI in cattle in Tennessee, producers are reminded to practice strong biosecurity. Cattle owners should minimize animal movements and isolate sick cattle. New animals should be quarantined for a minimum of two weeks before introducing them to an established herd.

Cattle impacted by HPAI may exhibit low appetite, flu-like symptoms, and thick and discolored milk accompanied by a sharp reduction in milk production. No cattle have died from infection. Older cows may be more likely to be severely impacted than younger cows. If Tennessee dairy producers believe cattle within their herd are showing clinical signs of HPAI, they should report these signs immediately to their local veterinarian, to the State Veterinarian’s Office at 615-837-5120, or the USDA APHIS at 1-866-536-7593.

The CDC confirmed on April 1, 2024 that a farm worker in close contact with affected cattle in Texas tested positive for HPAI following exposure to affected cattle. The individual’s illness is mild, and they are recovering.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) information from USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and State veterinary and public health officials are investigating an illness among primarily older dairy cows.

FDA Questions and Answers Regarding Milk Safety During Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Outbreaks

Biosecurity Information for Cattle Operations