Avian flu, a person infected in Texas from cows

Avian flu, a person infected in Texas from cows

Concern in the United States over A/H5N1 avian influenza. After the virus was found positive in dairy cows in recent days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that a person who had had contact with the cattle was also infected with the virus. The patient reported conjunctivitis as his only symptom and is currently in isolation and being treated with antivirals.

According to the CDC, the risk to the general population continues to remain low. The alarm about the spread of the avian influenza virus in dairy cattle was raised on March 25, when the virus was found in unpasteurized milk from two farms in Kansas and one in Texas and from swabs carried out in a fourth ranching in Texas. On the 29th, new positive cases were found in a farm in Michigan.

Genetic analysis concluded that the virus that affected cattle is the same one that is widespread in birds globally; furthermore, it has not undergone changes that would make it more suitable for dissemination in humans or more resistant to available antiviral treatments.

For the CDC, the human infection confirmed yesterday (the second in the United States, after a case in 2022) “does not change the human health risk assessment of H5N1 avian influenza for the general US public, which the CDC consider it low,” we read in a note.

Milk is also considered safe, “because the products are pasteurized before entering the market”. Attention, however, should be paid to “people with close or prolonged and unprotected exposure to infected birds or other animals (including livestock), or to environments contaminated by infected birds or other animals”: these “are at greater risk of infection”, they conclude the CDC. (HANDLE).

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