From the Editor, April 2024

It seems as if the past few weeks have been filled with discussions regarding dairy cattle infected with avian influenza virus Type A H5N1. The good news is that to date the infection in cattle has not led to high morbidity and mortality as it does in birds. This is clearly a developing situation and an apparently novel disease syndrome in cattle. Time will tell how it plays out and as it does the most up-to-date information on the evolving situation as well as all new detections can be found on this USDA webpage. This landing site includes links from FDA, CDC, and USDA APHIS and is the primary source of information that is included in recent newsletters from both state veterinarians from the Dept. of Agriculture and Dept. of Health. State movement restrictions can be found on the Livestock Marketing Association’s site, and within WA specifically you can find information regarding avian influenza on WSDA’s Avian Influenza webpage, and updates about highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu or HPAI) in WA can be found here. As part of USDA’s epidemiological investigation, if you encounter livestock on farms that experience an unusual morbidity/mortality event or have dairy cattle exhibiting unexplained drop in milk production, please report to the State Veterinarian at (360) 902-1878 or on the Reportable Animal Disease Database Report Submit ( and select “unexplained increase in dead or diseased animals.”

On an entirely different note, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our new WADDL toxicologist, Dr. Chelsea Sykes who will be taking the reins from Dr. Talcott.

Chelsea grew up in the Yuba-Sutter region of California (agricultural communities in the northern Central Valley) and complete her BS and DVM at UC Davis. She worked as a small animal general practitioner for several years before deciding to specialize in toxicology (algal blooms and toxic exposures to meds were a driving factor). Chelsea just completed a residency in Veterinary Toxicology at UC Davis SVM – California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, and enjoys working with metals and rodenticides.  She is particularly excited to work more with aquatic toxicology here in the PNW. I am certain we will be tapping her to speak at one of our WSU or WSVMA conferences in the near future so make sure to introduce yourself when you have the chance.