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Bird flu reported in second farm worker in Michigan; third human case in US

(CBS-DETROIT) – A second case of the H5 flu, also known as bird flu or bird flu, was discovered in another farm worker in Michigan, marking the second human case in Michigan and the third in the country.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the new case was reported in a farm worker who worked closely with cows that tested positive for bird flu, but worked on a different farm than the worker in the US. case they announced on May 22.

The risk to the general public remains low and the farm worker who tested positive was given antiviral drugs and is currently recovering from respiratory symptoms, including coughing without fever and eye discomfort with a watery discharge that occurred after direct exposure to an infected cow. to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Household contacts with the infected farm worker have not developed symptoms, and no other worker on the same farm has reported symptoms of bird flu.

“Michigan has led the way in a rapid public health response, and we have been closely monitoring this situation since influenza A (H5N1) was discovered in Michigan poultry and dairy herds,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, medical director. “Farm workers exposed to affected animals have been asked to report even mild symptoms, and testing for the virus has been made available. In the first case in Michigan, eye symptoms occurred after a direct splash of infected milk into the eye. In this case, respiratory symptoms occurred after direct exposure to an infected cow.”

Health officials say that in both cases in Michigan, neither farm worker was wearing full protective equipment.

“Proper use of personal protective equipment is the best tool we have to protect farmworkers,” said Tim Boring, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). “MDARD is currently providing assistance to dairy farms in need of additional protective equipment. MDARD has taken and will continue to take bold actions to help farms affected by this disease.”

The first case of bird flu in a human was discovered in a Texas farm worker who was exposed to infected dairy cattle.

Bird flu was first discovered in Michigan in dairy herds arriving into Michigan from Texas, and has since been found in Clinton, Gratiot and Ionia counties.

Earlier this month, Michigan egg producer Herbuck’s Poultry Ranch announced this was the case lay off approximately 400 employees. The company said the virus has hit the chicken population on some farms in Ionia County.

Guidelines issued for Michigan dairy farms

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued guidelines for producers to help reduce the spread of bird flu.

Michigan dairy and poultry farms must implement the following, under the order that went into effect May 8:

  • Appoint a biosecurity manager
  • Designate a dividing line that represents the perimeter of a secure area and limits access points
  • Establishing cleaning and disinfection practices and procedures at those entry points for both vehicles and individuals, including deliveries of feed and other supplies, and training for employees
  • Prepare a logbook containing a record of all vehicles and persons alighting from vehicles and passing through entry points, which shall be retained and made available for examination upon request by MDARD.

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