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Montevideo, June 21st 2024 - 10:21 UTC

 

 

Mild avian flu cases among humans in Michigan and Texas

Friday, May 24th 2024 - 10:15 UTC
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Despite its name, avian flu virus is not limited to birds, and in recent months has been detected in cows in several states Despite its name, avian flu virus is not limited to birds, and in recent months has been detected in cows in several states

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, are reporting a second human case of avian flu has been found as the outbreak spreads among birds and cattle in the country.

The patient works on a Michigan dairy farm and had regular exposure to livestock infected with the H5N1 virus, according to authorities, while the first case was found in Texas, in a farm worker. Both patients had only mild symptoms and have recovered and CDC pointed out that the risk to the general public remained low.

As in the Texas case, the Michigan patient had only eye symptoms, the CDC said, adding that conjunctivitis is typical in humans infected with avian flu viruses.

The infection was confirmed via a sample taken from the person's eye. A specimen taken from their respiratory tract tested negative.

This was “in a sense, reassuring”, said a CDC official at a briefing, as it suggested a reduced likelihood of the virus spreading through respiration.

Despite its name, the virus is not limited to birds, and in recent months has been detected in cows in several states. While avian flu is often fatal in poultry, it has been less lethal for cattle.

The virus does not normally spread to people, but human infections have occurred in rare cases around the world. The Texas case occurred earlier in the spring, amid the present American outbreak. Prior to that, the first human case of H5N1 bird flu in the US occurred in 2022 in Colorado.

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