Wheeler County tuberculosis investigation continues to progress

Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman recently announced that the epidemiological investigation into a bovine tuberculosis positive cow in a beef cattle herd in Wheeler County continues to progress. The infected cow was discovered as part of an epidemiological investigation from an infected herd in South Dakota.

“Cooperation between state and federal agencies along with the cooperation of the owner allowed us to quickly quarantine the herd and begin the epidemiological investigation to trace the movement of cattle into and out of the herd,” said Wellman. “Fortunately, our investigation found no cattle had fence line contact with the infected herd. At this time no testing of neighboring herds will be necessary.”

The infected herd will remain under quarantine until the entire herd has had multiple tests to verify no additional infection is present.

“We continue to trace and quarantine cattle that were dispersed from the herd earlier this year,” said Wellman. “It appears that the dispersed cattle are all currently in feedlot settings, where they will remain until harvest.”

NDA will continue epidemiological investigations of any animals that entered Nebraska from the infected South Dakota herd.

TB is a slow, progressive disease and is difficult to diagnose in the early stages; however, as the disease progresses, animals can exhibit emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, low-grade fever and a pneumonia with a chronic, moist cough. If a producer sees any of these symptoms in their herd, they should contact their local veterinarian.

Further information, including FAQ sheets on TB can be found on the NDA website at www.nda.nebraska.gov.