Avian flu: Birds, cows, and now a human

By Shin @ 2024-04-02T20:56 (+9)

This is a linkpost to https://yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com/p/avian-flu-birds-cows-and-now-a-human?utm_source=cross-post&publication_id=281219&post_id=143171257&utm_campaign=1017072&isFreemail=true&r=2f9clc&triedRedirect=true&utm_medium=email

"Last week, officials announced that HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza virus A(H5N1)] infections had been detected in cows on several dairy farms across five states. We then learned that cows in other states got sick once transported from the original farm, suggesting cow-to-cow transmission. This marks the first HPAI infection in cows in the United States.

Yesterday, news was released that a person in Texas was infected with HPAI after working closely with the cows. 

What we know

What we do not know

Three main questions scientists are trying to answer: 

  1. Did the virus mutate to become better adapted to cows? This will require more studies, which are already underway. 
  2. Where else is it? Only a few farms are affected right now. However, viruses spread. The impact on milk supply and prices in the future is unclear. 
  3. Is the virus able to transmit onward from here? It would not be surprising if there were more human cases in people who had direct contact with cows. What we don’t know is if the virus will be able to transmit onward to other humans. For example, in the latest case, we don’t know if any of the person’s contacts became infected. Epidemiologists will closely track this."

Other News sources: 

New York Times



Washington Post

Wall Street Journal

Politico via Yahoo!

Ian Turner @ 2024-04-02T22:19 (+2)

It would be nice to see an update to this post from last year. (CC @DirectedEvolution)