Bird Flu Found In Milk from Cattle Farms in Three States, Including Kansas

Federal health officials said they reported positive tests of bird flu in cattle from tow dairy farms in Kansas and one in Texas. Photo credit: Shutterstock (Roman Melnyk)

Posted March 27, 2024

Milk from Kansas dairy cows tested positive for bird flu Monday, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, clinical samples of milk from — unpasteurized — sick cattle were collected from two dairy farms in Kansas and one in Texas tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), or bird flu, according to a release from the USDA. The detection of influenza appeared to derive from wild birds.

The risk of the disease transmitting to humans remains low as laboratory tests have shown no sign of changes to the virus. The illness is primarily affecting older dairy cows in Texas, Kansas and New Mexico, causing decreased lactation and low appetite.

The department said the is no concern for the contaminated milk entering commercial supply and milk from impacted animals is being diverted or destroyed, according to the release.

Important to note: samples collected were collected from unpasteurized cattle. Pasteurization can inactivate bacteria and viruses such as H5N1 influenza in milk and pasteurization is required for any milk entering interstate commerce, the USDA said in its release.