Linked to the dairy cow outbreak The United States announces the discovery of the second human case of bird flu Linked to the dairy cow outbreak The United States announces the discovery of the second human case of bird flu

Linked to the dairy cow outbreak The United States announces the discovery of the second human case of bird flu

Linked to the dairy cow outbreak The United States announces the discovery of the second human case of bird flu
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American health authorities announced the discovery of a second case of bird flu in a person less than two months after the first infection, as the disease spreads widely among dairy cows.

Both people infected with the H5N1 virus, the first in Texas and the second in Michigan, were dairy farm workers and suffered only minor symptoms and recovered, according to authorities.

The agency stated that the latest case in Michigan was discovered in a worker on a dairy farm where the H5N1 virus was identified in cows.

According to Michigan Health and Human Services, the worker only had mild symptoms and has recovered.

Two samples of the agent were collected, one from the nose and the other from the eye, and only the eye sample was positive.

In addition, “similar to the Texas case, the patient reported only eye symptoms,” the CDC said.

Despite the second infection, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said its risk assessment for the general public remains "low", but indicated that it expects more cases.

Given the high levels of the virus “in raw milk from infected cows and the extent of the prevalence of this virus in dairy cows, it is possible that additional similar human cases may be identified,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

However, "sporadic human infection without sustained spread would not change CDC's risk assessment for the general U.S. public that CDC considers to be low."

Chickens, cows, humans

As of Wednesday, a total of 52 herds of livestock in the United States were infected with bird flu in 9 of the 50 states.

The USDA said it has identified spread of the disease among cows within the same herd and among dairy farms linked to cattle movements.

The administration added in a statement in late April, “When treated, sick cows can recover with little or no mortality.”

She stressed that "it is important to remember that so far no changes have been found in the virus that would make it more transmissible between humans and between people."

The US Department of Agriculture has made financial assistance available to help affected farms, for example by providing protective equipment to their employees.

According to the CDC, “People who have close or prolonged, unprotected exposure to infected birds or other animals (including livestock) are at greater risk of infection.”

Although the current "H5N1" strain has caused the death of millions of poultry during the current wave, the infected cows have not become seriously ill.

Cows and goats joined the list of victims in March, which surprised experts because the animals were not thought to be susceptible to this type of flu.

Meanwhile, fragments of the virus have been found in pasteurized milk, but health authorities say milk sold in US stores is safe because pasteurization effectively kills the disease.

There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission at present, but health officials fear that if the virus eventually spreads widely, it may mutate into a form that can be transmitted between humans.

It is worth noting that avian influenza A (H5N1) first appeared in 1996, but since 2020 the number of outbreaks of the disease among birds has increased significantly along with an increase in the number of infected mammals.

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