US reports 2nd human case of bird flu linked to dairy cow outbreak. Details | World News - Hindustan Times
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US reports 2nd human case of bird flu linked to dairy cow outbreak. Details

May 23, 2024 11:23 AM IST

The first case of the virus was reported in March this year in a dairy worker from Texas.

A dairy farm worker in Michigan has been diagnosed with the bird flu H5N1 virus - the second case linked to an outbreak in dairy cows in the United States. According to US health officials, the worker suffered only minor eye symptoms and has recovered.

US reports 2nd human case of bird flu linked to dairy cow outbreak
US reports 2nd human case of bird flu linked to dairy cow outbreak

“Two specimens were collected from the patient. An upper respiratory tract specimen collected from the worker's nose was negative for influenza virus at the state health department laboratory. The eye specimen was sent to the CDC for testing because it is one of a few labs where those specimens can be used with the CDC A(H5) test. The specimen was received by CDC, and testing results confirmed A(H5) virus infection,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

The first case of the virus was reported in March this year in a dairy worker from Texas, who also suffered minor symptoms and has recovered, the US health officials said.

According to the CDC, the current health risk from the virus to people is low. However, it suggested that cases are likely to rise.

Also read: ‘100 times worse than Covid pandemic’: Experts on risk of H5N1 bird flu outbreak

“Given the high levels of the virus in raw milk from infected cows, and the extent of the spread of this virus in dairy cows, similar additional human cases could be identified. However, sporadic human infections with no ongoing spread will not change the CDC risk assessment for the US general public, which CDC considers to be low,” it said.

Symptoms of bird flu in humans

According to the CDC, bird flu in humans looks similar to seasonal influenza or upper respiratory infection. The symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, eye redness, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. In some severe cases, the virus can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, and other complications.

How is the virus transmitted?

The transmission of the bird flu virus to humans is very rare. It can spread through directly from an infected bird, environments contaminated with bird flu viruses, or even through an intermediate host such as another animal.

According to the CDC, people with close or prolonged, unprotected exposures to infected birds or other animals (including livestock) are at greater risk of infection.

There have been 889 cases and 463 deaths in humans caused by H5N1 in 23 countries since 2003, reported Today.com, citing World Health Organization (WHO) data.

Meanwhile, in the US, a total of 52 herds were infected with the bird flu across nine of the 50 states so far.

(With inputs from AFP, ANI)

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