Avian flu in the United States: a second human case linked to an epidemic in the country’s cows, should we be worried?

Avian flu in the United States: a second human case linked to an epidemic in the country’s cows, should we be worried?
Avian flu in the United States: a second human case linked to an epidemic in the country’s cows, should we be worried?

Less than two months after a first case, a second person was infected with avian flu in the United States in connection with an epidemic of this virus among cows in the country, health authorities announced Wednesday.

This person works on a farm where the H5N1 virus infected cows, in the state of Michigan, said the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). For this federal health agency, however, the assessment of the risk for the American population remains “weak”.

A first case in Texas, in the south of the United States, was announced on April 1. It was then “probably” of the world’s first case of avian flu infection via a cow, according to the CDC. A first human case of avian flu was discovered in the country in 2022, in Colorado, but it was then an infection by poultry.

WHO expresses “huge concern”

For the person infected in Michigan as in Texas, the patients only showed symptoms in the eyes, specifies the CDC. Both have recovered.

Experts are concerned about the growing number of mammals infected with the disease, although cases in humans remain rare. There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission at this time, but scientists fear that high circulation could facilitate a mutation of the virus that would allow it to pass from one human to another.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had expressed its “huge concern” mid-April in the face of the increasing spread of the H5N1 strain of avian flu to new species.

cows united states avian flu epidemic Avian flu

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