(WFRV) – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported the first human case of avian influenza A(H5) virus (H5 bird flu) in the United States.
According to the CDC, a person tested positive for the virus after having had direct contact with infected poultry. The patient has since recovered.
Officials shared that the patient’s only symptom was feeling fatigued, which was not nearly as severe as seen in other cases. The CDC noted that illnesses in people from bird flu virus infections have ranged from mild to severe illnesses that can result in death.
With this being the first reported case in the U.S., the CDC believes that the human risk assessment for the general public is low.
“This one H5-positive human case does not change the human health risk assessment,” explained the CDC.
Furthermore, to help prevent others from contracting H5N1 viruses, CDC officials are asking all residents, especially those who have job-related or recreational exposures to infected birds, to take appropriate precautions outlined in CDC guidance.
To date, H5N1 viruses have reportedly been found in U.S. commercial and backyard birds in 29 states, including Wisconsin, and in wild birds in 34 states resulting in widespread illness and death among birds.
In early April a farm in Jefferson County, Wisconsin announced that they had killed more than three million birds to stop the spread.
“If the bird is destroyed, there’s going to be no eggs, and you can’t replace them for six months, so it would wipe us out if it would happen on our farm,” said Nancy Kellner, who runs a poultry farm in Denmark.
In addition, the outbreak has also resulted in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) suspending all poultry shows, exhibitions and swap meets across the state through May 31.