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Bird flu: New human cases reported in USA and Australia

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<p class=Experts worry that the virus could mutate and lead to a new pandemic.

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The highly pathogenic bird flu virus spreading on US dairy farms has also been detected in a second US farm worker, while a different strain infected a child in India who then traveled to Australia.

In both cases the infection is believed to have come from contact with infected animals and there was no human-to-human transmission.

The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that the risk to public health remains “very low”, but experts are concerned that the virus could mutate and lead to a new pandemic.

Eye symptoms

The first human case reported in the US involved a dairy farm worker who tested positive in April.

The same virus , H5N1, was also detected this week in a farm worker in Michigan, the CDC announced.

Both workers developed conjunctivitis and recovered uneventfully, according to authorities in the two states.

However, the CDC warned that “similar human cases may occur” given the extent of the outbreak in the cattle farms.

Cows have been confirmed in nine US states, but the outbreak is likely much larger, given that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detected the virus in 20% of unpasteurized milk samples tested across the country.

However, pasteurized milk is considered safe, the American services assured.

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<p class=The virus cannot be excluded from being transmitted to cows by automatic milking machines

Different strains of the H5N1 virus have previously been transmitted to a limited number of people that had come into contact with wild birds and were fatal in about half of the cases.

Virologists generally agree that bird flu has the potential to cause a new pandemic, an eventuality that seems more likely after confirmed cases in numerous wild mammal species.

“The widespread spread of the virus in cows because that can lead to changes in the virus that would make humans more susceptible,” Scott Hensley, a virologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told Reuters.

“We don't seem to be at the beginning of a pandemic, but we urgently need to check if there have been other human cases,” said Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

It still remains unclear how the virus is transmitted. among the cows, but suspicions turn to automatic milking machines.

The US government announced last week that it would allocate $100 million for biosecurity measures and financial aid to affected farmers.

< p>Measles in Australia

In another development, a different strain of H5N1 was detected in a child in Australia who is believed to have been infected while still in India.

Until today, Australia has been one of the few countries in the world where no cases have been reported in birds or other animals.

“This is the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Australia,” Dr Claire Luker said. , Health official in the state of Victoria.

“The child developed a serious infection but has now fully recovered,” he said.

source: in.gr

Source: 24h.com.cy

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