Cats died after drinking raw milk from bird flu-infected cows

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Dairy cows to beryllium tested for vertebrate flu intimately

More dairy cows to beryllium tested for vertebrate flu aft findings successful market store milk 02:45

More than fractional of cats astir the archetypal Texas dairy workplace to trial affirmative for vertebrate flu this outpouring died aft drinking earthy beverage from the infected cows, scientists reported this week, offering a model into a toll the microorganism has taken during its unprecedented dispersed done the cattle industry.

The report, published Tuesday successful the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, chronicles the aboriginal probe by veterinarians and world laboratories into a illness that started spreading done cows crossed the portion earlier this year.

Cats astatine the Texas workplace had been fed raw milk from cows that turned retired to beryllium infected with  highly pathogenic avian influenza, oregon HPAI H5N1. A time aft the workplace archetypal started noticing cows were getting sick, the cats started getting sick too. By the end, much than fractional of the cats had died.

"The cats were recovered dormant with nary evident signs of wounded and were from a nonmigratory colonisation of [approximately] 24 home cats that had been fed beverage from sick cows," the scientists wrote.

Tests of the samples collected from the brains and lungs of dormant cats yielded results suggesting "high amounts of virus." Autopsies of the cats besides revealed "microscopic lesions accordant with terrible systemic microorganism infection," they said, including to the oculus and brain.

Around 1 successful 5 samples of beverage the Food and Drug Administration checked from U.S. retailers tested affirmative for H5N1, though the bureau said past week that studies truthful acold amusement that pasteurization is moving to termination disconnected the microorganism successful milk; lone harmless fragments remained. Officials person repeatedly urged Americans not to portion earthy milk.

While the dispersed of the microorganism from cows to cats done earthy beverage is new, cats person agelong been known to scientists arsenic 1 of the taxon particularly susceptible to terrible illness from H5N1. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said that deaths and neurological illness successful cats person been "widely reported" astir farms with outbreaks of the virus.

By contrast, lone a fraction of cows — up to 15% —developed signs of unwellness successful herds with the infection, the scientists said. Officials person said that cows mostly retrieve wrong a period aft their infections. The microorganism has been devastating for poultry flocks that faced wide deaths oregon had to beryllium culled aft contracting the microorganism from chaotic birds. 

Previous probe has linked deaths and neurological disorders successful home cats to H5N1 infections. An earlier survey published by the CDC diary from Thailand back successful 2006 suspected a feline had contracted the microorganism aft eating an infected pigeon. 

But the caller infections prompted the CDC this month to contented caller guidance for veterinarians treating fishy H5N1 cases successful cats, urging stepped up measures similar donning respirators and goggles to debar contracting the virus.

"While it's improbable that radical would go infected with vertebrate flu viruses done interaction with an infected wild, stray, feral, oregon home cat, it is imaginable — particularly if determination is prolonged and unprotected vulnerability to the animal," the bureau said successful its guidance.

Some cases successful humans person besides been suspected to person been caused by depletion of infected birds, similar in Cambodia earlier this year. 

Doctor connected vertebrate flu: "So far, nary existent hazard to the quality population" 03:32

Meanwhile, authorities person been racing to curb further dispersed of the microorganism successful dairy cattle, which is believed to person been spreading from cow-to-cow since a azygous archetypal spillover from chaotic birds earlier this year. 

"Ingestion of provender contaminated with feces from chaotic birds infected with HPAI microorganism is presumed to beryllium the astir apt archetypal root of corruption successful the dairy farms," the scientists wrote.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday it would trial crushed beef sold astatine retailers for H5N1 and would survey however cooking beef could curb imaginable hazard posed by the virus, successful the aftermath of an earlier bid ramping up testing on dairy cattle being shipped implicit authorities lines.

It is unclear whether immoderate crushed beef samples person truthful acold tested affirmative for the virus. Results "are forthcoming" and volition beryllium shared erstwhile available, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, implicit 2,000 tests person been tally by the section truthful acold this period from cattle.

"As of April 30, 34 dairy herds person been impacted by H5N1. For context, determination are much than 26,000 dairy herds nationwide," the spokesperson said successful a statement.

Alexander Tin

Alexander Tin is simply a integer newsman for CBS News based successful the Washington, D.C. bureau. He covers the Biden administration's nationalist wellness agencies, including the national effect to infectious illness outbreaks similar COVID-19.

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