CDC reports fourth human case of avian flu linked to dairy cow outbreak

A human case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5) has been detected in Colorado, marking the fourth case in a multistate outbreak linked to dairy cows and the first in Colorado, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Previous cases were in Texas (one) and Michigan (two).

The infected person, a dairy farm worker, reported only eye symptoms to state health officials, received oseltamivir treatment, and has since recovered. The CDC is closely monitoring influenza surveillance, and there has been no unusual influenza activity among people in affected states.

According to the agency, this recent infection does not alter the current low-risk assessment for the U.S. public, but highlights the need for precautions for those exposed to infected animals. The agency shares the following recommendations:

  • Avoid close, long, or unprotected exposures to sick or dead animals, including wild birds, poultry, other domesticated birds, and other wild or domesticated animals (including cows).
  • Avoid unprotected exposures to animal feces, bedding (litter), unpasteurized (“raw”) milk, or materials that have been touched by, or close to, birds or other animals with suspected or confirmed A(H5N1) virus.
  • Observe CDC recommendations for prevention, monitoring, and public health investigations of A(H5N1) virus infections in people. CDC also has updated recommendations for worker protection and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

For more information about the virus, visit the CDC website.