First Iowa Case of Avian Influenza in Dairy Cows Confirmed in O’Brien County

The first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in dairy cows has been confirmed in Iowa.

The case has been detected in an O’Brien County herd according to officials with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Health Inspection Service. More response measures are expected to be announced soon.

Bird flu is a viral disease that affects both wild and domestic birds as well as lactating dairy cattle. Symptoms in dairy cattle include a decrease in food consumption and rumination, clear nasal discharge, a drop in milk production, tacky or loose feces, lethargy, dehydration, fever, and thicker concentrated colostrum-like milk.

Officials add it remains safe to consume poultry and dairy products. Only milk from healthy animals is allowed into the food supply, and the pasteurization process inactivates bacteria and viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control continues to believe the threat to the general public is low, even though cases of avian influenza were confirmed recently in dairy workers in Texas and Michigan. Officials say there are no known human cases in Iowa.