Michigan Records First Human Case of Bird Flu -- A Farmworker

May 22, 2024, 8:07 PM by  Allan Lengel


A farmworker who had regular exposure to livestock on a dairy farm contracted the first confirmed case of Bird flu in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced on Wednesday.

It's the second confirmed human case in the U.S. involving an outbreak of the virus in dairy cows. The first was in Texas.

The Centers for Disease Control said the virus, influeza A (H5N1) bird flu, was detected after conducting an eye swab and confirming an eye infection, conjunctivitis.

The Michigan farmworker had mild symptoms and has recovered, the state said. It did not releae any details about the farmworker.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the risk to the public remains low.

The virus has been circulating in dairy and poultry farms across the U.S. this spring, and state and local public health officials have been closely monitoring for human cases, which can occur with people exposed to ill animals, the MDHHS said.

“Michigan has led a swift public health response, and we have been tracking this situation closely since influenza A (H5N1) was detected in poultry and dairy herds in Michigan. Farmworkers who have been exposed to impacted animals have been asked to report even mild symptoms, and testing for the virus has been made available,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive for Michigan. “The current health risk to the general public remains low. This virus is being closely monitored, and we have not seen signs of sustained human-to-human transmission at this point. This is exactly how public health is meant to work, in early detection and monitoring of new and emerging illnesses.”

The first detection of the virus in dairy cattle in Michigan was on March 29.

The CDC has recommended:

  • People avoid close, long, or unprotected exposures to sick or dead animals, including wild birds, poultry, other domesticated birds, and other wild or domesticated animals (including cows).
  • People should also avoid unprotected exposures to animal poop, bedding (litter), unpasteurized (“raw”) milk, or materials that have been touched by, or close to, birds or other animals with suspected or confirmed A(H5N1) virus.


Leave a Comment:

Photo Of The Day