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Third Michigan dairy worker diagnosed with H5 avian flu

Third Michigan dairy worker diagnosed with H5 avian flu

By Andi Anderson

Michigan has confirmed a third case of H5 avian flu in a dairy farm worker, marking an increase in human infections connected to local dairy farms. Unlike the previous cases, this worker is experiencing respiratory symptoms, including a cough and watery eye discharge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are closely monitoring the situation.

The affected worker was exposed to the virus on a different farm than those linked to earlier cases. So far, 22 outbreaks have been reported across 10 Michigan counties. Local health officials have implemented a text-based monitoring system to keep track of individuals who have been in contact with infected dairy cows.

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Chief Medical Executive at MDHHS, emphasized the necessity of prompt symptom reporting and testing for those exposed.

The patient has been treated with Oseltamivir and is currently recovering at home, with no other farm workers showing symptoms at this time.

The latest CDC tests confirm the presence of the H5 virus, with genetic sequencing ongoing to understand more about the strain involved. Despite this additional case, the CDC maintains that the risk to the public remains low.

The incidents have highlighted the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) for farm workers. Both previously affected individuals in Michigan had not worn full PPE when exposed, leading to direct contact with the virus.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued new PPE guidelines for individuals visiting farms with known H5N1 infections.

As the state tackles this public health challenge, federal and state health officials are working together to ensure that the agricultural workforce is protected and that the spread of the virus is contained.

Photo Credit -gettyimages-vm

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Categories: Michigan, General

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