Texas Reports Second Human Case of Bird Flu Linked to Dairy Cows

Wed Apr 03 2024
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TEXAS: In Texas, an individual has been diagnosed with bird flu, marking the second human case of the virus reported in the United States amidst recent outbreaks in dairy cow populations, international media reported.

The state’s Health Department disclosed that an individual fell ill with eye congestion after exposure to infected cows. While the overall risk to the public is deemed low, the health authorities emphasize the importance of animal owners meticulously adhering to safety guidelines for sick animals. The Texan patient is undergoing treatment with antiviral medication and is presently hospitalized in isolation.

Despite its avian connotation, this disease has been identified in cows across multiple states, including Texas, Kansas, and Michigan, suggesting potential interspecies transmission.

Although human-to-human transmission is rare, sporadic cases continue to occur worldwide, ranging from mild respiratory and ocular symptoms to severe pneumonia, which can be fatal, as per CDC warnings.

The first recorded human case of H5N1 avian flu in the US was in Colorado in 2022. The individual contracted the virus directly from a poultry flock. While avian flu typically has a high mortality rate in birds, it tends to be less lethal in animals.

The CDC advises individuals to avoid contact with sick or deceased animals, including wild birds, domesticated farm animals, and cattle, to pasteurize milk before consumption, and to abstain from consuming unpasteurized raw milk products.

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