Are People In Iowa At Risk For Bird Flu?
Over 35.5 million birds have died from highly pathogenic avian influenza and now the CDC is saying one person has contracted the disease as well.
In Colorado, a man that has been in direct contact with poultry and depopulation when it comes to bird flu has contracted the H5 strain of it.
According to KWWL, the patient is currently isolated and being treated with an influenza antiviral drug.
Iowa has been the hardest hit state in the US when it comes to highly pathogenic avian influenza. Throughout 14 counties more than 13 million birds have been depopulated in the state to minimize the spread of the disease.
So, Are Iowa Farmers At Risk?
While the chances of people getting the virus are low, people that are exposed to birds with it are at higher risk for infection.
Birds spread the virus through saliva, mucous, and feces. Humans are able to catch it if the virus gets into their eyes, nose, mouth, or is inhaled. This typically happens when the virus is in the air via droplets or even with dust.
Since the H5 strain has been spreading from late December through now, the CDC has continued to monitor people connected to infected flocks. The CDC has tracked the health of more than 2,500 people across the United States.
This is the second case of humans that has come out of the H5 outbreak. The first was in December in the United Kingdom and the second was the Colorado man.
Since 2003, there have been more than 880 human infections of earlier strains of bird flu. The H5N1 strain, which is the predominant strand circulating flocks now, is different from earlier viruses.
The CDC adds that one positive case does not change the current human health risk assessment.