“Patient reported red eyes”: person infected with bird flu in the US

This is only the second case of testing positive for bird flu in the United States, with flocks sickened by the virus in Texas, Kansas and several other states in the past week.

“The patient noted redness of the eye (consistent with conjunctivitis), as the only symptom, and is recovering”He was isolated and treated with an antiviral drug used for the flu, authorities said Monday.

For health authorities, this infection does not change their assessment of the risk to the American population, which is considered to be “weak”.

The first case in the country was found in Colorado in 2022, but it was an infection from poultry.

Since then, goats and cows have been affected, we learned last week, to the surprise of experts.

“If we continue to find outbreaks of contamination in cows, that means cows will have to be monitored.”Louis Moncla, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school, told AFP. “This will be a major change in the way we understand this virus.”

Experts are concerned about the increasing number of mammals infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and its H5N1 strain and its potential to spread between mammals, even though cases in humans are very rare.

A nine-year-old child carrying the H5N1 strain died of bird flu in Cambodia in February, after three deaths in the same country in 2023.

“For the moment, the general public has no real reason to worry”Estimates of Louis Moncla.

polar bear

“Preliminary tests have not shown any changes in the virus that would make it more transmissible to humans”The Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) announced in a statement last week, adding that the cows were infected by wild birds.

According to Texas authorities, cattle infection is not a problem for milk marketing, as dairies are required to destroy milk from sick cows. Pasteurization also kills viruses.

They also assured that they are working to help affected dairies limit the exposure of their employees and monitor and test those working with infected livestock.

The cases of dairy cows infected with HPAI are the first in the United StatesAccording to the American Veterinary Association. On March 20, Minnesota detected cases of avian flu in young goats.

“The discovery of HPAI, first in goats and then in dairy cows, underscores the importance of biosecurity measures, vigilance in disease surveillance, and immediate intervention by your veterinarian when something happens. Something feels wrong.”Rena Carlson, president of the American Veterinary Association, said in a recent press release.

Avian flu has killed polar bears in Alaska, according to authorities, and thousands of marine mammals have died from the virus in South America, according to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.

Since the summer of 2021, the avian influenza virus has caused the death and slaughter of millions of poultry in Europe. France slaughtered more than 30 million poultry between the summer of 2021 and last year.

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