The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that a person in Colorado has contracted the positive H5 bird flu virus, the first infection to be detected in the United States.
According to the U.S. press, the CDC has not disclosed the neuraminidase subtype of the virus, the strain to which it belongs. There is an unprecedented outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in wild birds and commercial flocks.
The man, described by the Colorado health authorities as under the age of 40, only felt tired. She is now in isolation and is being treated with oseltamivir for the flu.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment said the man was isolated in a state facility and the government slaughtered the birds to minimize the situation. “We want to reassure residents that the risk of stopping is low,” epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said in a statement.
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, was less optimistic, saying that while past experience with the H5N1 virus suggests that human infections have not led to a continuous human-to-human spread, the increase. control is important. “Every time we deal with H5N1, we have to sleep with one eye open,” he said.
The H5 viruses have long caused fear among bird scientists about the economic damage they cause and their tendency to occasionally infect humans.
H5 viruses have also been found to infect humans from time to time, often with devastating consequences. Just over half of the just over 860 previously registered cases of H5N1 infection – in 19 countries – have died.
The CDC statement also noted that the current group of H5N1 viruses in the United States and Europe is different from the H5N1 viruses that caused previous epidemics in Asia and North Africa.
This is only the second human infection caused by this clade of H5N1 viruses; the first was a man in the UK who became infected last December.
Recently, China confirmed the first known case of human H3N8 avian influenza, which is a different strain of this flu. The stock has been in circulation since 2002, after appearing in North American waterfowl, infecting horses, dogs and seals. But so far it has not been observed in humans.