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Bird Flu Spreads with Human Infection

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)/bird flu has spread beyond dairy cattle. The Texas Department of State Health Services reported the infection of a dairy worker on Monday. The sickness was minor, and pinkeye was the person’s main symptom.

That marked the second time that health officials confirmed a human infection in the United States. NBC News has this background on the first reported human case in 2022, a Colorado prison inmate who had been working on a poultry farm. The person reported mild symptoms of fatigue for a few days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the chances for people to get the virus remain low, and vaccines and medications have proven effective against the bird flu.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed on Tuesday that the virus infected a dairy herd in Ohio. Health officials speculated that the dairy cattle got sick from bird feces or a dead bird.

The Ohio case increased the number of states with confirmed cases in dairy herds to six:

1.      Ohio

2.      New Mexico

3.      Kansas

4.      Idaho

5.      Texas

6.      Michigan

The USDA confirmed the first case in Texas on March 25th. That marked the first confirmed bird flu case in cattle. Dairy cattle typically suffer from decreased milk production but recover.

Goats, polar bears, seals, and sea lions have also been infected. But it is the poultry industry that has been hardest hit. Producers have culled millions of birds to try to stop the spread of the virus.


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