Third infection of avian flu in humans in the US: This is what we know about the case

A worker at a dairy plant located in Michigan has been diagnosed with bird flu, This is the third human case associated with an outbreak in dairy cows in the United States.The local health authorities reported this Thursday.

The patient began to manifest different symptoms, such as cough and eye discomfort, unlike the other two workers who only presented visual symptoms, Michigan authorities explained. Given this situation, the worker received immediate medical attention and antivirals were applied, so he is now recovering from the respiratory symptoms.

The risk of bird flu to humans remains low, although Farm workers who are exposed to infected animals are at increased risk. The cases recorded in Michigan occurred on different farms and so far there are no signs of spread between people.

“The risk depends on the exposure, and in this case, the relevant exposure is to infected animals,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained in a statement.

In early April, a Texas farm worker was diagnosed by authorities as the first case in the world of a person contracting this version of bird flu from a mammal.

While Michigan authorities announced the first case in that town last week, it was a worker who contracted bird flu from “a direct splash of infected milk in the eye” and this caused him to begin developing symptoms, he says. a statement.

Unfortunately None of the workers in Michigan were wearing masks or other personal protective equipment.which indicates that staying close to infected animals represents a health risk.

“Direct exposure to infected livestock poses a risk to humans, and personal protective equipment is an important tool to prevent infection among people who work on dairy and poultry farms,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian said in a statement. , chief medical officer of the Michigan Department of Health.

It is estimated that There are between 100,000 and 150,000 workers on dairy farms. of the United States, according to estimates by the United Farm Workers of America.

Since 2020, The bird flu virus has spread among more animal species in a dozen countries; specifically in dogs, cats, skunks, bears and even seals and porpoises

So far, the presence of the H5N1 virus has been confirmed in 66 dairy herds in nine locations, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

The new case of bird flu It is the fourth time that the H5N1 type A virus has been diagnosed in a person in United States.