CDC Issues Warning to State Officials to Plan for Bird Flu Cases

As the number of infected cow herds throughout the country continues to rise, the CDC has issued a warning to state health authorities, advising them to be prepared for an increase in human cases of bird flu.

During a meeting with state authorities on Friday, the CDC reportedly issued a notice advising them to update strategies in case more agricultural laborers test positive for the H5N1 virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a dairy farm employee from Texas proved positive for the highly contagious influenza, marking the second incidence in the United States.

The first human case of the new avian influenza A(H5N1) in Texas was confirmed on Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Reports indicate that the patient could have contracted avian influenza after coming into contact with dairy cows that were thought to have bird flu. The patient experienced conjunctivitis, also known as ‘Pink Eye.’

The only symptom experienced by the person who has caught the virus has been eye irritation, but they are making a full recovery while in isolation. It is believed that the individual has not infected anybody else and is undergoing treatment with Tamiflu.

According to the Mayo Clinic, pink eye is Inflammation of the delicate membrane that encases the eyeball and lids. The medical term for pink eye is conjunctivitis. The conjunctiva is the membrane that can swell and inflame, and the little blood vessels within the conjunctiva are more noticeable. This causes the reddish or pinkish hue of the eye whites.

Chicken farms have also been hit by bird flu. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics show that outbreaks of bird flu would impact 11.4 million birds, which likely contributed to the elevated cost of eggs seen during Easter weekend.