Another Person Diagnosed With Bird Flu

It's the 2nd US case tied to dairy cows
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 23, 2024 1:00 AM CDT
Another Person Diagnosed With Bird Flu
This 2005 electron microscope image shows an avian influenza A H5N1 virion.   (Cynthia Goldsmith, Jackie Katz/CDC via AP)

A Michigan dairy worker has been diagnosed with bird flu—the second human case associated with an outbreak in US dairy cows, the AP reports. The male worker had been in contact with cows at a farm with infected animals. He experienced mild eye symptoms and has recovered, US and Michigan health officials said in announcing the case Wednesday. A nasal swab from the person tested negative for the virus, but an eye swab tested Tuesday was positive for bird flu, "indicating an eye infection," US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said.

The worker developed a "gritty feeling" in his eye earlier this month but it was a "very mild case," said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan's chief medical executive. He was not treated with oseltamivir, a medication advised for treating bird flu, she said. The risk to the public remains low, but farmworkers exposed to infected animals are at higher risk, health officials said. They said those workers should be offered protective equipment, especially for their eyes. Health officials say they do not know if the Michigan farmworker was wearing protective eyewear, but an investigation is continuing. In late March, a farmworker in Texas was diagnosed in what officials called the first known instance globally of a person catching this version of bird flu from a mammal. That patient reported only eye inflammation and recovered.

(More bird flu stories.)

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