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More dairy farm workers are becoming ill with the H5 bird flu from exposure to infected dairy cows.

Fourth U.S. case of H5 bird flu linked to dairy cows

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed a new human case of the H5 bird flu in Colorado, the first in the state and fourth in the U.S., related to an ongoing outbreak among dairy cows.

The affected individual, a dairy farm worker, exhibited only eye symptoms, was treated with oseltamivir, and has since recovered.

This case, similar to previous incidents in Texas and Michigan, involves direct exposure to infected dairy cattle, highlighting a unique transmission pattern that necessitates vigilance but currently poses a low risk to the general public.

The CDC continues to monitor the situation closely, maintaining that there is no significant change in the human health risk assessment for the U.S.

CDC’s response includes intensified surveillance and testing of exposed individuals, collaborative efforts with state and local health departments, and distribution of personal protective equipment to farmworkers. Additionally, the CDC is emphasizing the importance of adhering to recommended precautions such as avoiding close contact with sick animals and using protective gear when exposed to potentially infected animals or environments.

Ongoing genetic sequencing of the virus aims to provide further insights into its characteristics, which could refine current risk assessments and prevention strategies.

Meanwhile, public health officials urge farmworkers and others in close contact with livestock to follow the updated safety guidelines to mitigate the risk of infection.

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