A case of H5N1 influenza infection detected in US dairy cows

Avian flu has been reported in a man from Texas who had close contact with infected dairy cows. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed this is the second case of H5N1 bird flu in the US, following the first case in Colorado in 2022. Although preliminary analysis did not show any concerning mutations, the CDC stated that the infection does not change their assessment of public health risk associated with H5N1 influenza in the United States, and that the risk of an outbreak here remains low.

The patient is currently isolated and receiving treatment with antiviral drugs. Avian flu can be transmitted to humans, but only through close contact with infected animals. However, it has a very high death rate compared to regular flu cases – up to 50% compared to 3%. Antibiotics are effective against circulating H5N1 influenza strains, and if the virus mutates to spread easily in humans, existing vaccines will also be effective in preventing it.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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