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A case of H5N1 influenza infection detected in US dairy cows

In April 2023, a man in Texas was diagnosed with H5N1 bird flu after coming into close contact with infected dairy cows. This is the second confirmed case of the disease in the US, following the first case in Colorado in 2022. Preliminary analysis of the virus strain did not show any concerning mutations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that while this infection changes nothing about the public health risk associated with H5N1 influenza in the United States, the risk of an outbreak here remains low. The patient is currently isolated and receiving treatment with antiviral drugs.

It’s important to note that avian flu can be transmitted to humans, but infections have only been reported in people who have had close contact with infected animals. While current antibiotics are effective against circulating H5N1 influenza strains, if the virus mutates to spread easily in humans, existing vaccines will also be effective in preventing it. The CDC continues to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.

By Samantha Jones

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