Apr 4, 2024 - News

Your bird flu FAQ

A public health sign warns people about bird flu i

A public health sign warns people about bird flu in May 2022 in Brighton, England. Photo: Andrew Aitchison/In pictures via Getty Images

Bird flu is spreading among dairy cows in at least three U.S. states, and one person in Texas has been infected with the virus, according to health officials.

  • Here's what you need to know.

What threat does bird flu pose to humans?

While human infection is possible, its occurrence is rare.

  • People with close or prolonged, unprotected exposures to infected birds or other animals — or to contaminated environments — face a greater risk of infection.
  • The Texas case is only the second human case of H5N1 in the U.S., CDC data shows. The first was reported in Colorado in 2022 after a person was exposed to poultry.

Do outbreaks impact cow milk supply?

The bird flu was recently detected in unpasteurized milk samples and swabs from dairy herds in Texas, Kansas and Michigan.

  • But federal authorities said there is "no concern" about the safety of the U.S. milk supply.
  • Still, the FDA recommends that people avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheese products.

How bird flu spreads

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