Michigan Pioneers Avian Flu Testing for Dairy Workers

Michigan will start testing dairy farm workers for past avian flu infections with help from the CDC. The outbreak, affecting 67 herds, has seen two farm workers test positive. The testing aims to understand virus spread and whether humans can be asymptomatic carriers.

Reuters | Updated: 30-05-2024 22:40 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 22:40 IST
Michigan Pioneers Avian Flu Testing for Dairy Workers
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Michigan will soon begin testing dairy farm workers for signs of prior infection with avian flu, a county health official told Reuters. An ongoing outbreak of avian flu in dairy cattle has affected 67 herds in 9 states since March, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

Two dairy workers - one in Texas and another in Michigan - have tested positive for the virus. They both had conjunctivitis, or pink eye, and recovered. CDC officials have been eager to test blood samples of farm workers for signs of prior infection to help understand the scope of the outbreak.

Michigan county and state officials will collaborate with the CDC on the testing effort, said Chad Shaw, health officer and environmental health director with the Ionia County Health Department. The details of the plan for testing have not been previously reported. Ionia County has reported avian flu infections in four dairy cattle herds and four poultry flocks, according to state data.

The goal of the testing is to discern how the virus is spreading from farm to farm, including whether humans have carried the virus asymptomatically, Shaw said. A CDC spokesman said the agency will be providing technical assistance to the state, which is coordinating the testing.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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