US Announces Support for Dairy Farms as Avian Flu Spreads


As Avian Flu (H5N1) spreads throughout US dairy cow herds, the federal government has launched a several policies intended to stop the virus from evolving the ability to spread from person to person.

The USDA unveiled an aid package worth $28,000 per farm to help farmers improve their biosecurity measures. The specific provisions include:

  • Money will also be earmarked to help train farm workers in biosecurity, and to cover the costs of protecting people such as milk haulers, veterinarians, feed truckers and AI technicians who often move between various farms.
  • $2,000 for “heat treatment to dispose of milk in a bio secure fashion,
  • $10,000 per property to cover veterinary bills for Avian Flu monitoring, testing, and treatment of infected cows.

Three dozen herds of dairy cows have been infected in the US so far. Currently, there are no known cases of the virus transmitting between two humans. Since 2021, just 28 people worldwide have been infected, but the virus kills about half of all humans it infects. Experts in infectious disease warn that the longer the virus circulates in cows other mammals, the more likely it will develoop the ability to easily jump from animals to humans, and from one human to another.

Full Story: HealthDay