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Cows in Texas and Kansas test positive for highly pathogenic bird flu

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Enlarge (credit: Getty | Peter Cade)

Wild migratory birds likely spread a deadly strain of bird flu to dairy cows in Texas and Kansas, state and federal officials announced this week.

It is believed to be the first time the virus, a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), has been found in cows in the US. Last week, officials in Minnesota confirmed finding an HPAI case in a young goat, marking the first time the virus has been found in a domestic ruminant in the US.

According to the Associated Press, officials with the Texas Animal Health Commission confirmed the flu virus is the Type A H5N1 strain, which has been ravaging bird populations around the globe for several years. The explosive, ongoing spread of the virus has led to many spillover events into mammals, making epidemiologists anxious that the virus could adapt to spread widely in humans.

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