CDC Issues Warning to States Over Bird Flu

( – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a fresh alert to state officials on Friday, April 5 regarding the potential for bird flu to spread to farm workers. They said that states should have “up-to-date operational plans” in the event that farm workers begin to test positive for the H5N1 virus, a particular flu common to poultry that occasionally can jump to humans.

Last week a dairy farm worker from Texas became the second person in the country to test positive for the virus, according to the CDC. The first man was a poultry farmer from Colorado in 2022, suggesting that the possibility is somewhat remote. Officials are concerned due to an uptick of the virus being detected in cattle, suggesting the bug is mutating and able to hop species.

Most of the cattle that have tested positive are in Texas, but additional states, including Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, New Mexico, and Kansas have also reported positive test results.

The CDC said this marked the first time the virus jumped to cattle and if their theories are correct, it’d also be the first time it jumped from cattle to humans. Officials were clear in that they’ve no reason to believe the disease can spread between humans as of yet. All of those infected have been in close proximity with farm animals.

Despite suggesting the risk the virus poses to the public is “low” at present, they called the situation “rapidly evolving” suggesting that could change over time. CDC Deputy Direct Nirav Shah led the meeting with state representatives wherein they suggested proactive measures drafting potential plans to deal with any emerging outbreak of the disease.

The Texas patient is recovering according to authorities, his only symptom was inflammation of one of his eyes. Officials said he’s being kept in quarantine as a precaution and they were treating him with Tamiflu, a common anti-flu medication.

On Tuesday, a press release from Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. reported the destruction of 1.6 million egg-laying hens and roughly 337,000 pullets (baby chickens) after they detected the bug spreading through a facility in Michigan. The animals represented 3.6% of the total flock.

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