Second American Contracts Bird Flu From Dairy Cows

( – The Centers for Disease Control has announced that a second American has contracted Bird Flu that’s been tied to dairy cows.

A fifty-five-year old dairy worker became ill after working with bird flu-infected cattle. An upper respiratory sample tested negative for the virus but an eye sample tested positive for Bird Flu. Before this, a Texas farm worker was diagnosed in March. Both of the patients suffered from pink eye or conjunctivitis and neither showed any signs of a respiratory infection.

“Conjunctivitis has been associated with previous human infections with avian influenza A viruses and is part of the current CDC case definition for Bird Flu surveillance,” said the CDC.

They continued, “While it’s not known exactly how eye infections result from avian influenza exposures, it may be from contamination of the eye, potentially with a splash of contaminated fluid, or touching the eye with something contaminated with the virus, such as a hand.”

The United States Department of Agriculture has said that almost fifty dairy herds across nine different states have been exposed to the Bird Flu.

With this, the CDC still said that the health risk to humans is very low, saying, “Based on the information available, this infection does not change CDC’s current H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S. general public, which the agency considers to be low.,” the CDC said.

Officials are still monitoring the outbreak but they have said that pasteurized dairy milk is still safe to drink. “At no time were animals that are sick from H5N1 or any other animal disease permitted to enter into our food supply,” according to USDA official Eric Deeble.

The CDC is also encouraging Americans to avoid any exposure to dead animals, and animal waste, and to avoid drinking any raw milk.

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