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First Human Case Of H5 Bird Flu Recorded In US

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The United States has confirmed the first known human case of H5 bird flu in a person in the western state of Colorado.

The U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that the person who tested positive for avian influenza A (H5) virus was involved in the culling of poultry presumed to have had H5N1 bird flu.

The patient reported fatigue for a few days as the only symptom and had since recovered.

According to the CDC, the patient is being isolated and treated with the influenza antiviral drug, oseltamivir.

“This case does not change the human risk assessment for the general public, which CDC considers to be low,’’ the agency said.

CDC had been monitoring for illness among people exposed to H5N1 virus-infected birds since these outbreaks were detected in U.S. wild birds and poultry in late 2021.

To date, H5N1 viruses have been found in U.S. commercial and backyard birds in 29 states and in wild birds in 34 states, according to the CDC.

The agency has tracked the health of more than 2,500 people with exposure to H5N1 virus-infected birds and this is the only human case that has been found to date.

It is the second human case worldwide associated with this specific group of H5 viruses that are currently predominant.

The first case was reported in Britain in December 2021.

China had on Wednesday confirmed the first known human case of the H3N8 strain of avian flu, but health authorities say there is a low risk of widespread transmission among people.

H3N8 is known to have been circulating since 2002 after first emerging in North American waterfowl.

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