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US Public Health Officials Concerns Heightened Over Avian Flu Outbreak Potential

US Public Health Officials Concerns Heightened Over Avian Flu Outbreak Potential

United States: The public health officials of the United States have raised the concerns linked to the possible outbreak caused due to upsurge in the cases linked to avian flu, which is also known as bird flu, among humans.

The situation has been monitored by the authorities and experts after the cases have witnessed an increase in the population, which has become a matter of concern. According to this, not just humans; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined that several mammals have suffered from the infection. Along with this, similar stats were shared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Among mammals, the authorities outlined that bird flu has made many cows sick, which has resulted in the presence of a virus in the milk, causing infection among humans. However, recently, health experts have mentioned that the current situation suggests that the food supply is safe and the risk to the general public is low.

First Human Case!

This month’s outset witnessed the CDC unveiling a human instance of avian flu in Texas, linking it to bovines. The infected individual directly engaged with ailing bovines and disclosed singularly ocular redness as symptomatic.

This marks the US’s second H5N1 human instance, albeit the inaugural tied to cattle.

Yet, no transmissions from person to person have surfaced, asserted CDC Director Dr Mandy Cohen to ABC News.

CDC ascertains a minimal public health hazard assessment.

Milk samples unveil dormant remnants

This week’s onset divulged remnants of avian flu in pasteurized milk samplings. These, however, inertly linger from the virus and pose no infection risk as commercial milk undergoes pasteurization.

Federal entities affirm the safety of the US commercial milk supply, ensured by pasteurization and requisite disposal of bovine-ill milk to avert contamination.

“The commercial milk supply’s safety remains intact,” the FDA reassured.

FDA’s update posited that virus remnants likely succumb to pasteurization.

Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist and Boston Children’s Hospital’s chief innovation officer and ABC News contributor, delineated, “While not a direct public health menace, the avian flu virus’s presence underscores broader dairy bovine exposure than hitherto grasped,” advocating extensive surveillance to gauge the virus’s dairy product prevalence and food safety implications.

He advocated ongoing scrutiny to discern live virus survival post-process, refining risk evaluations, and public health assurances.

FDA and CDC food safety units synergize to monitor emergency department and flu testing data for anomalous trends, though no deviations have emerged.

How to explain Avian Flu?

Avian flu, an infectious malady primarily endemic to avians, stems from Influenza A virus infection.

Though avian flu predominantly circulates among wild waterfowl, it can encroach on domestic poultry and other fauna, CDC elucidates.

Though avian flu typically spares humans, rare infections occur, confirmed through lab testing.

Human manifestations include diverse respiratory, systemic, and gastrointestinal symptoms, varying from mild to severe, the CDC outlines.

Outbreak genesis

March’s onset heralded the USDA’s revelation of a bird flu strain afflicting myriad US birds, also infecting select mammals this year.

Visual Representation

Several states reported avian flu in mammals in 2024, from striped skunks in Washington state to a mountain lion in Montana and a raccoon in Kentucky.

Subsequently, public health agencies probed an illness among elder dairy cows in Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas, presenting decreased lactation and anorexia.

USDA quelled concerns about consumer health and milk safety amidst these circumstances.

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