Health

CDC on Friday issued a health alert to inform doctors about bird flu case

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert Friday to inform clinicians, state health departments and the public of a case of avian influenza — aka bird flu — in a person who had contact with dairy cows in Texas.

A farmworker on a commercial dairy farm in Texas developed conjunctivitis last week, and subsequently tested positive for bird flu, the agency said.

The positive bird flu diagnosis came after milk from dairy cows in Texas and Kansas tested positive for the disease.

The infection follows a 2022 case in Colorado, and is the second person to test positive for the bird flu virus in the U.S.

BIRD FLU PANDEMIC IN FUTURE? EU WARNS OF POTENTIAL SPREAD TO HUMANS DUE TO ‘LACK OF IMMUNE DEFENSE’

Woman caring for cow

A case of bird flu was found in a farmer who had contact with dairy cows. (iStock)

While the CDC said that the current risk these viruses pose to the public remains low, people who are regularly around infected birds, cattle, or other animals are at higher risk of infection and should take appropriate precautions.

Since 1997, more than 900 sporadic human cases of bird flu have been reported in 23 countries. 

The CDC said that more than half of the approximately 900 cases resulted in death. 

Avian flu lab testing

Scientific sampling of eggs in poor condition, analysis of avian influenza in humans, conceptual image (iStock)

While the fatality rate for humans is high, there is a near 100% fatality rate for birds with the disease. 

AVIAN INFLUENZA: SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE AND HOW IT AFFECTS BIRDS AND HUMANS

Since 2015–16, bird flu cases in humans have decreased substantially, and only a few sporadic human cases have been reported worldwide since 2022.

Cows

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says milk from dairy cows in Texas and Kansas has tested positive for bird flu. 

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Humans who catch avian influenza typically experience no symptoms to mild symptoms. 

Those with severe cases will experience common flu-like symptoms such as cough, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever, chills, fatigue and runny nose. 

Avian influenza is diagnosed through laboratory testing. 

People concerned about contracting bird flu can protect themselves by using protective gear, such as gloves and eye protection and washing their hands frequently. 

Qualifying people can receive the annual influenza vaccine.

For more Health articles, visit foxnews.com/health


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