Avian Flu Epidemic Prompts CDC Warning of 'Potential for Human Infection'
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an official advisory to warn health workers and clinicians of the potential for human infection of the devastating avian flu currently ravaging the Midwest.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
To date, the highly pathogenic H5 flu strains have spread to 20 states and forced the slaughter of nearly 45 million birds. It has struck egg-producing chickens in particular and caused egg prices to skyrocket nationwide.
While there have been no cases of human transmission, the purpose of the CDC advisory is “to notify public health workers and clinicians of the potential for human infection with these viruses” and offer recommendations on how to work safely with the infected birds or in infected environments.
The CDC considers the risk to the general public from the avian flu strains (H5N2, H5N8, H5N1) to be low. However, the agency noted that "people with close or prolonged unprotected contact with infected birds or contaminated environments may be at greater risk of infection."
— Dr. Joseph Mercola (@mercola) June 2, 2015
The agency added that clinicians should consider the possibility of H5 virus infection in persons showing signs or symptoms of respiratory illness and have relevant exposure to infected or potentially infected birds. Health departments have been urged to notify the CDC of any bird flu investigations within 24 hours.
Egg-producers in Iowa, the top egg-producing state, have been hit the hardest. Polly Carver-Kimm, state Department of Public Health spokeswoman, told Harvest Public Media that about 170 workers have been offered consultations from department health workers, and no workers are ill with the H5 virus. Workers in Iowa have also been asked to phone a hotline to report any flu symptoms.
Currently there is no human vaccination for H5 strains but efforts are underway to develop the vaccines in case the need arises.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Plus, learn if there's one that's best for your health.
By Jason Bittel
My wife and I built a house two years ago on a few acres of woodland outside of Pittsburgh. The backyard is full of maples, poplars, briars and common spicebush. Two-lined salamanders and grumpy-looking crayfish wade among the rocks in the small stream that runs down the edge of the property. Deer, raccoon and opossum tracks appear regularly in the snow and mud. Sometimes, my trail-cam even catches a pair of gray foxes as they slink through the night.
By Kate Murphy
No matter the time of year, there's always a point in each season when my skin decides to cause me issues. While these skin issues can vary, I find the most common issues to be dryness, acne and redness.
David Woodfall / The Image Bank / Getty Images
By Sam Nickerson
Now, correspondence obtained by the LA Times revealed just how deeply involved industry lobbyists and a controversial, industry-funded toxicologist were in drafting the federal agency's proposal to scrap its current, protective approach to regulating toxin exposure.
February 22 is the birthday of conservationist and beloved TV personality "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who would have been 57 years old today.
Irwin's life was tragically cut short when the barb from a stingray went through his chest while he was filming in 2006, but his legacy of loving and protecting wildlife lives on, most recently in a Google Doodle today honoring his birthday.