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Michigan farm worker diagnosed with avian flu, second case linked to dairy cows in US

Michigan farm worker diagnosed with avian flu, second case linked to dairy cows in US


(AP) — A Michigan dairy worker has been diagnosed with bird flu, the second human case linked to an outbreak in U.S. dairy cows.

The male worker had been in contact with cattle on a farm with infected animals. U.S. and Michigan health officials said in a case announcement Wednesday that he experienced mild eye symptoms but had recovered.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said the person's nasal swabs tested negative for the virus, but eye swabs tested Tuesday came back positive for avian flu, “indicating an eye infection.”

Dr. Natasha Baghdasarian, Michigan's chief medical officer, said the worker had a “very mild illness” earlier this month that “felt like there was sand in his eyes.” The doctor said the worker had not been treated with the drug oseltamivir, which is recommended to treat bird flu.

Health officials say the risk to the general public remains low, but that the risk to farm workers who come into contact with infected animals is high, and that such workers should be provided with protective equipment, especially for the eyes.

Health officials say they don't know if the Michigan farm worker was wearing safety glasses, but the investigation continues.

Farm workers in Texas in late March diagnosed Authorities say this is the world's first case of human infection of this type of bird flu from a mammal. The patient complained only of eye inflammation and recovered.

Since 2020, the avian influenza virus has been spreading around the world. More animal species — Dogs, cats, skunks, bears, and even seal Dolphins also live in many countries.

detection US Livestock early this year Unexpected development This has raised questions about food safety and whether the disease can spread between humans.

Reports of cattle infections are steadily increasing, but that is not happening.As of Wednesday, the virus confirmed According to the USDA, the outbreak occurred on 51 dairy farms in nine states, including 15 in Michigan.

Dr. Nirav Shah of the CDC said the case was “not unexpected” and that it was possible further infections would be diagnosed among people who work around infected cows.

U.S. officials said they have tested 40 people since the first cow cases were discovered in late March, including 35 in Michigan, Baghdasarian told The Associated Press in an interview.

Shah praised Michigan authorities for actively monitoring farm workers. He said the country's health authorities sent daily text messages to workers who had been exposed to infected cattle asking about possible symptoms, an effort that helped authorities detect infections. He said no other employees reported symptoms.

That's encouraging news, says Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota who has studied avian flu for decades: So far, there's no sign the virus is causing flu-like illness or spreading among people.

“If there are four or five people who are seriously ill with respiratory illness, we will detect it,” he said.

This virus is Raw milk But government officials say pasteurized products sold in grocery stores are safe because heat treatment has been shown to kill the virus.

The new case marks the third person diagnosed with the virus, known as H5N1 A, in the United States. In 2022, a prison inmate participating in a work program was among those infected. picked it up He was diagnosed with the virus while killing infected birds at a poultry farm in Montrose County, Colorado. His only symptoms were fatigue and he subsequently recovered. This was before the virus appeared in cows.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Science and Education Media Group. AP is solely responsible for all content.




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