1st US case of bird flu in humans confirmed in Colorado, CDC says

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, April 29, 2022
1st US human case of bird flu confirmed, CDC says
A person in Colorado has tested positive for avian influenza, also known as the bird flu, the CDC confirmed Thursday.

Health officials confirm the first U.S. human case of avian influenza, also known as the bird flu, in Colorado Thursday, according to the CDC.

The video featured is from a related report.

The person had direct exposure to poultry and was involved in depopulating birds with presumptive H5N1 bird flu, officials said.

The person reported fatigue for a few days as their only symptom and has since recovered.

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They are also being isolated and treated with the influenza antiviral drug oseltamivir, the CDC said.

Officials said, while it is possible the detection of H5 bird flu was the result of surface contamination, they are unable to make that determination at this point, adding that the positive test result meets the criteria for an H5 case.

This is the second human case associated with this specific group of H5 viruses, officials said. The first case internationally was detected in the United Kingdom in December 2021 in a person who did not have symptoms but who raised birds that became infected.

"This case does not change the human risk assessment for the general public, which CDC considers to be low. However, people who have job-related or recreational exposures to infected birds are at higher risk of infection should take appropriate precautions," the CDC said.

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CDC has been monitoring for illness among people exposed to H5N1 virus-infected birds since these outbreaks were detected in U.S. wild birds and poultry in late 2021 and into 2022. To date, H5N1 viruses have been found in U.S. commercial and backyard birds in 29 states and in wild birds in 34 states. CDC has tracked the health of more than 2,500 people with exposures to H5N1 virus-infected birds and this is the only case that has been found to date. Other people involved in the culling operation in Colorado have tested negative for H5 virus infection, but they are being retested out of an abundance of caution, officials said.

More than 880 human infections with earlier H5N1 viruses have been reported since 2003 worldwide, however, the predominant H5N1 viruses now circulating among birds globally are different from earlier H5N1 viruses, according to health officials.

For more information on prevention and antiviral treatment of the bird flu viruses in people, visit the CDC website.