First human case of avian flu reported this year in the US

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The case was confirmed in Texas and the person was in contact with cows. CDC says the risk for infection remains low.

Positive avian flu

Photo: jarun011/Adobe Stock

This article was originally published by Contagion®, a sister publication to dvm360®.

Yesterday, the first human case of avian influenza A (H5N1 this year) in the United States was reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).1 The person became infected following contact with dairy cows presumed to be infected with avian influenza. The individual’s primary symptom has been conjunctivitis and is being treated with an antiviral. The individual was told to isolate while in recovery.1,2

DSHS issued this health alert to provide awareness to health care providers and ask them to be vigilant for people with signs and symptoms of avian influenza A(H5N1).1

Humans exposed to birds or other animals with confirmed or suspected avian influenza should be monitored for any signs and symptoms of illness for 10 days after the last known exposure, including people wearing recommended personal protective equipment.1

Prior to this case, the CDC and other federal regulatory bodies and state health departments have been monitoring outbreaks in livestock. CDC also reports it is continuing to work with state health departments to continue to monitor workers who may have been in contact with infected or potentially infected animals and test those people who develop symptoms.1

This is the second case of this avian influenza strain identified in a person in the United States. That other person contracted this form of the flu in 2022 in Colorado. That person reportedly had direct exposure to poultry and was involved in the depopulating of poultry with suspected H5N1 bird flu.3

Continue reading this story at ContagionLive.com.

References

  1. Health Alert: First Case of Novel Influenza A (H5N1) in Texas, March 2024. News release. Texas Department of State Health Services. April 1, 2024. Accessed April 2, 2024. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/news-alerts/health-alert-first-case-novel-influenza-h5n1-texas-march-2024
  2. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus Infection Reported in a Person in the US. News release. CDC. April 1, 2024. Accessed April 2, 2024. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2024/p0401-avian-flu.html
  3. Cosdon N. Case of Human Avian Influenza Reported in US. Contagion. April 29, 2022. Accessed April 2, 2024. https://www.contagionlive.com/view/case-of-human-avian-influenza-reported-in-us
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