Home UK News Texas dairy worker gets bird flu from infected cow

Texas dairy worker gets bird flu from infected cow

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What happened

A dairy worker in the Texas Panhandle developed a mild case of H5N1 avian influenza after working with infected cows, Texas health officials said Monday. The patient is only the second person known to have contracted this strain of bird flu in the U.S. and the first anywhere infected through mammals, The Associated Press said.

Who said what

“Initial testing has not found changes to the virus that would make it more transmissible to humans,” the CDC, FDA and USDA said jointly. “This indicates that the current risk to the public remains low.”

The commentary

The Texas patient exhibited only eye inflammation, but the case “has alarmed disease trackers monitoring for the worst-case scenario: human-to-human transmission,” The Washington Post said. Bird flu has been spreading through wild animals and, since March 25, dairy herds in Texas, Kansas, Michigan and New Mexico, so the jump to humans “really wasn’t a question of if but when,” UTHealth Houston’s Dr. Luis Ostrosky said to the Houston Chronicle.

What next?

The dairy worker is expected to fully recover. And there is no current plan to cull the infected herds, the USDA said. Pasteurized milk is believed to be safe.

The virus has been spreading among cattle in Texas, Kansas, Michigan and New Mexico