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What is known about bird flu in cows and the risk to people

The outbreak of the flu poultry in dairy cows was confirmed in Minnesota and Iowa, us U.S bringing the total number of affected states to 11, which must intensify testing at the government’s request. Check below what is known about the problem and understand what risk it poses to humans .

More than 80 herds milkmen It is three workers have tested positive for the virus since the end of March. Other states that have reported infected herds include Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota It is Texas.

Why is bird flu a concern?

Health officials say the risk for the public remains low.

But the spread of the flu poultry farm among livestock milkman reflects an expansion of the range of mammals that can become sick with the virus that normally infects the birds. Furthermore, experts they say they find the flu poultry us humans it’s worrying.

Scientists are on alert for changes in the H5N1 virus that may indicate that it is adapting to spread more easily between the human beings.

The virus has caused serious or fatal infections among people who have had close contact with birds, wild or domestic, infected. Therefore, the virus has long been identified as a potential epidemic. Thus, any expansion into a new mammal species is worrying.

Infections in cattle originate from the same subtype of the flu poultry that has infected birds wild It is poultry flocks around the world for more than two years, also killing several species of mammals that likely contracted the virus from consuming birds sick or dead.

Is H5N2 bird flu case in Mexico related?

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this week the death of a person in Mexico who had been infected with the flu avian H5N2.

It was the first time that a virus from the flu poultry H5N2 infected one human worldwide, It is the first case of H5 reported in a person in Mexico. It is unclear how the person became infected. Mexican authorities said the man died of other health problems, while the WHO said the death was due to multiple factors.

Although the flu poultry infect It is kill mainly birdshuman infections can occur It is cause serious or fatal illnesses. Recent human infections with other types of the flu poultry, in addition to the H5N2 case in Mexico, they include a case involving a different subtype of H5N1 in Australia It is an H5N6 infection in May in China.

How widespread is the outbreak of flu poultry in cattle?

The full extent remains unknown, but may occur in more herds than have been documented.

The food and Drug Administration, a federal agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services, said it has detected fragments of the H5N1 virus in about one in every five samples during a national retail milk survey.

U.S. health authorities believe that people cannot get sick from drinking pasteurized milk, but they warn against drinking raw, unpasteurized milk.

The virus may be present in cows who do not show signs of infection.

How is H5N1 spreading in the United States?

It is not yet clear how the virus is spreading, but there is evidence of transmission of birds wild to cows, cows to cows, cows to birds It is three cases of cow-to-human transmission. There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Due to the high viral load in milk and in glands milk, scientists suspect that the virus is being transmitted to animals during the milking process.

Not yet he knows whether the virus can spread to the cows through respiratory droplets that infect the airways, as viruses from the flu normally spread in humans but studies are ongoing.

Scientists believe that the farm workers likely became infected through exposure to infected milk. Human symptoms include conjunctivitis or pink eye It is mild respiratory symptoms.

Is there a bird flu vaccine for humans?

The US maintains a stockpile of vaccines against a range of strains of the flu. Last month, American authorities stated that they had decided to manufacture a vaccine very similar to the H5N1 virus, which will result in 4.8 million doses of the vaccine.

Source: CNN Brasil

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