July 18, 2024
Texas Reports First Human Case of H5N1 Bird Flu Linked to Cattle

Texas Reports First Human Case of H5N1 Bird Flu Linked to Cattle

Spread the love

Texas Reports First Human Case of H5N1 Bird Flu Linked to Cattle

Texas-  Bird flu, specifically the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, has been discovered in U.S. cattle, surprising scientists who study influenza. At least one person in Texas has been infected, likely through contact with infected cows. Cows from 12 dairy herds in five states have tested positive for H5N1: Texas (seven herds), Kansas (two), Michigan (one), New Mexico (one), and Idaho (one).

The extent of the problem may be underestimated because bird flu infections in cattle weren’t previously monitored. Evidence suggests H5N1 could infect cows, with past reports of cows infected with human flu viruses and susceptibility to influenza D. The virus has been found in various mammals, including big cats and small carnivores, with a likely route of infection in cows being through contaminated water or grasslands from infected birds.

The risk to human health remains low, as the virus hasn’t shown sustained person-to-person transmission. The infected person only had conjunctivitis, and the virus is closely related to vaccine strains and susceptible to antiviral drugs.

Texas Reports First Human Case of H5N1 Bird Flu Linked to Cattle
Texas Reports First Human Case of H5N1 Bird Flu Linked to Cattle

The virus in infected cows shouldn’t enter the food chain due to measures in place, and pasteurization would kill any viruses present. However, unpasteurized milk poses risks, although public health authorities advise against its consumption.

There’s uncertainty about whether the virus could adapt to efficiently transmit among mammals, including humans. Pigs are of particular concern as they can serve as mixing vessels for flu viruses. While past reports of pig infections with H5N1 subsided, recent experiments have shown varying results in infecting pigs with the virus.

In short, the discovery of H5N1 in U.S. cattle raises concerns about potential transmission to humans, particularly through pigs, but further research is needed to understand the full extent of the risk.


Spread the love

Leave a Reply