KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH-AM covering local news from Houston and across Texas.


Bird Flu: How Worried Should We Be?

Chickens Test Positive For The H7 Strain Of Bird Flu

Photo: Matt Cardy / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Now that the CDC has confirmed that a human has contracted bird flu, the natural question is whether or not the general public at large should be concerned?

The answer, according to medical experts, is no.

"It does not appear that the virus has changed its ability to infect humans. For that reason it does not appear that we need to be overly concerned at this point," Dr. Jill Waggoner told KTRH.

That said, she understands why some are nervous.

"Coming off of COVID, we all pay attention to these things a little differently than we have in the past," she stated.

In announcing the case yesterday, the CDC said, "This person had exposure to dairy cattle in Texas presumed to be infected with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses. The patient reported eye redness (consistent with conjunctivitis), as their only symptom, and is recovering," the CDC said in a statement. "The patient was told to isolate and is being treated with an antiviral drug for flu."

This is the second case of a human testing positive for H5N1 in the United States, after a previous case was observed in Colorado in 2022.

"This infection does not change the H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S. general public, which CDC considers to be low," it added. "However, people with close or prolonged, unprotected exposures to infected birds or other animals (including livestock), or to environments contaminated by infected birds or other animals, are at greater risk of infection."
This comes after dairy cows in Texas were reported to be infected with the virus.

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