Inmates at a Delta County correctional facility were the first in the United States to test positive for H5 bird flu, state officials said Thursday.
According to a joint release from the Colorado Corrections Bureau, the State Department of Agriculture, and the State Department, the man was exposed to the virus while working on a commercial farm in Montrose County as part of a pre-release employment program. Public health and the environment.
State officials said the man was “almost asymptomatic and reported only fatigue,” and is currently receiving the antiviral drug oseltamivir in quarantine, following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“In general, the risk of this virus to the general public is low and remains low,” said state epidemiologist Rachel Harley. “We encourage the general public to try to limit their exposure to wild birds.”
State officials learned earlier this week that a man’s test showed the presence of the H5 virus. According to the release, the test was confirmed by the CDC on Wednesday.
A person in the United Kingdom tested positive for the virus in January, which was also the result of close contact with infected poultry, officials said.
The virus may have been in his nose because the man was in close contact with poultry. However, it is unknown whether the virus replicated in the male body or was present in the nose.
“Because this is considered a case, detection of this virus in human specimens means that this is the” case “H5N1 in the United States,” Herlihy said. Along with the virus … or if the virus was just present in his nose, probably because it could be present in the environment. “
Herlihy added that he is continuing to test men to determine if he was actually infected with the virus.
Viruses traditionally travel from bird to bird. However, when a person is infected with the virus, it usually does not spread from person to person, according to the release.
“Currently, there are no known cases of the H5 flu virus spreading to people,” the release said. “At this time, there are no other cases confirmed in Colorado or the United States.”
The USDA announced an outbreak at a poultry farm in Montrose County last week, saying that 60,000 birds would be killed to prevent the spread of the virus.
The first case of the virus was detected in a backyard herd in Pitkin County on April 9.
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