Six Idaho Dairy Farms Have the Avian Flu. Here’s What You Need to Know

May 21, 2024

By Monica Esquivel

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture confirmed on Friday avian flu had been detected in a dairy operation for the first time in Minidoka County.

Last week, two farms in Jerome County also tested positive. The first three cases were detected in early April in Cassia County after a farm there received cows from an affected dairy in Texas.

State Veterinarian Dr. Scott Leibsle said about 10 to 20% of cows in affected facilities have tested positive and the economic impact to farmers has been significant.

“What you're seeing is, is a drop in milk production and a drop in feed intake for about that period of time. And then once the symptoms resolve and once the cattle recover, for the most part they're able to return to production,” Dr. Leibsle said.

He said while a large number of cattle have gotten sick, few cases have been fatal and most recover in 10 to 15 days. Poultry cases, however, are lethal and present a greater economic loss.

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