5th Human Case of Bird Flu Confirmed in the United States

The latest case in Colorado is associated with a multi-state outbreak of the virus in dairy cattle.

On Wednesday, U.S. authorities siad that an unidentified employee of a dairy in Colorado became the fifth person in the United States with a confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza or bird flu infection.


WHO Calls for Intensified Surveillance of Avian Influenza

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a press release that the department, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Colorado Department of Agriculture, identified a human case of avian influenza infection associated with a multi-state outbreak of the virus in dairy cattle.

The release did not elaborate on an exact location where the infected man was, other than a dairy farm in northeast Colorado, while noting the man had mild symptoms including pink eye, and had direct contact with infected cattle.

The department assured local people that experts said the risk to the public is low, saying “Coloradans should feel confident that the state is doing everything possible to mitigate the virus.”

US Government Awards Moderna $176 Million for #mRNA #BirdFlu Vaccine – https://t.co/tuBQop8kV5 I hope the UK is doing something similar, or we are in big trouble here…

— Glyn Moody (@glynmoody) July 4, 2024

“It is safe to drink pasteurized milk and eat properly handled and cooked dairy, beef, and poultry products in the United States,” it added.

The first person who tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu in the United States was a poultry worker in Colorado in 2022. One dairy worker in Texas and two in Michigan contracted the virus this spring. All four cases were mild.

Bird flu, a virus that usually spreads among wild birds and domesticated poultry, made the leap to dairy cattle in the country in December or January, and has since spilled to herds in at least 12 states. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned about the possibility of facing an avian influenza pandemic after knowing of cases of transfer of the virus to mammals and even humans. pic.twitter.com/1HT9PPJDpg

— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) February 10, 2023