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MSU research team to study "bird flu" in cattle

Photo: Associated Press

Michigan State University is launching a new study on the state’s ongoing avian flu outbreak in cattle. It’s part of a national research project

MSU researchers will study the effects of highly pathogenic avian influenza or “bird flu” that in recent months spread to dairy cattle across the country, including multiple Michigan counties.

They’ll study the virus’ effect on cattle reproduction, milk production and transmission of the disease as well as how to mitigate it.

The team plans to conduct five studies on farms with virus-positive animals, studying lactating cows and calves, collecting blood, nasal swabs and milk samples to be tested.

All testing is being done at the MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, the only laboratory in Michigan approved by the US Department of Agriculture to test for the virus in any species.

Faculty members in the College of Veterinary Medicine say there’s an enormous amount of information that’s yet unknown and the outbreak underscores the critical need for understanding the impact and prevention of the virus among cattle.

Data from Michigan farms will be combined with findings from other universities nationwide for a comprehensive analysis.

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