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Michigan Reports Third Human Case of Bird Flu Linked to Dairy Cows

The third case of human infection linked to the ongoing H5N1 influenza virus outbreak among dairy cows in the United States has been confirmed in Michigan, where another case of bird flu has been identified.

This most recent report comes after comparable incidents in Michigan early in May and Texas in April. The three afflicted people were all employed by dairy farms and had frequent interaction with cows that were infected.

While conjunctivitis, or pink eye, was the primary symptom in the early cases, upper respiratory tract infection symptoms were also present in the most recent case.

The CDC stresses that there is still little chance of bird flu spreading from person to person, with the biggest concern being farm workers who are near dairy cows that are afflicted. More instances among farm workers are anticipated, considering that since March, 69 herds in nine states have reported illnesses. Interestingly, no cases have been documented in Florida as of yet.

In an attempt to stop the virus from spreading among cattle, a specific bird flu vaccine for cows has been developed. Furthermore, before cattle are moved across state boundaries, they are all checked for avian flu.

The ultimate goal of the CDC is to completely eradicate the H5N1 virus from cow populations, which would drastically lower the likelihood of bird flu infections in humans in the future.

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