Four more cats in the United States have tested positive for H5N1 avian flu.  

According to state and federal officials, four more cats have tested positive for H5N1 bird flu as part of a rising outbreak in dairy cows in the United States, bringing the total number of cases in the current outbreak to seven.  

Sonja Olsen, the CDC's Influenza Division's Associate Director of Preparedness and Response, reported three additional cases in cats on Thursday, with a fourth confirmed by state officials on Friday.  

"The reports we heard were of cats having neurologic symptoms, rapid decline, and death," Olsen said in an interview with BNO News. 

According to the state's Agriculture Department, three new instances were discovered at two dairy farms in Curry County, New Mexico, and all were fatal. The fourth case was discovered at a dairy farm in Wood County, Ohio. 

This comes after the deaths of three additional cats on dairy farms in Texas.The global spread of H5N1 clade, as well as its recent dissemination to an increasing number of mammals, has aroused concerns about the prospect of a future variety causing human-to-human transmission.   

The USDA stated in late March that avian flu had been discovered in unpasteurized milk from sick cows in Kansas and Texas, marking the first instances in cattle. The number of incidents at dairy farms has subsequently increased to 34 in nine states, and a farm worker in Texas has tested positive.  

Cats are known to be sensitive to the new H5N1 avian flu virus. In December 2022, the first occurrence of this type in a cat was reported near a duck farm in southern France, leading to its euthanasia. 

Months later, in 2023, over 40 cats perished in two South Korean animal shelters after consuming poisoned cat food. In Poland, over a dozen cats died in an outbreak, which was most likely caused by tainted raw meat. 

At least 20 cats in the United States have been infected with H5N1 bird flu, with seven instances confirmed this month. The remaining 13 occurred last year in conjunction with infected poultry or wild birds. 

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