Despite No Serious Human Infections with “Super Bird Flu” in US, CDC Issues a Health Alert

2024-04-10 17:59:52

We have been following the recent Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPIA, aka bird flu) since the recent outbreaks have been hitting wild birds and poultry farms around the world.

Recently, the disease crossed species lines and began infecting cattle in this country. The infections resulting in mild cases among the cows. A Texas man who worked with cattle caught the disease, and subsequently developed “pink eye“.

Despite the fact the man’s infection was not serious, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert to inform health care centers and the public the Texas human HPAI infection. Presently, the agency confirms the pathogen is of low risk to humans.

The patient did not report any other symptoms and was not hospitalized. The person received antiviral treatment and is recovering, and the patient’s household members have not become sick, the CDC said.

“No additional cases of human infection with the HPAI A(H5N1) virus associated with the current infections in dairy cattle and birds in the United States, and no human-to-human transmission of HPAI A(H5N1) virus have been identified,” the CDC said.

The CDC said it tested the patient’s virus genome and sequences from cattle, wild birds and poultry. It found minor changes, and they both “lack changes that would make them better adapted to infect mammals.”

The CDC asked states to be ready with rapid testing.

The agency asked for plans to quickly test and provide treatment to potentially impacted farm workers following positive results among cattle herds.

It also encouraged state health officials to communicate about any challenges they are facing.

The agency is also urging state leaders to have ‘up-to-date operational plans’ in place in case more farm workers test positive for H5N1. It appears as if the CDC may be using the “Monkeypox Playbook” for their response.

The meeting was led by the CDC’s deputy director Nirav Shah and Dr Demetre Daskalakis, who was involved in the national response to the outbreak of monkeypox — or mpox — in 2022.

It was attended by local health leaders including representatives from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, which has members across all 50 states and Washington D.C.

A release from the CDC on the meeting, which took place online, read: ‘CDC recommended that state public health officials… ensure that they have up-to-date operational plans to respond to avian influenza at the state level.

‘For example, the CDC emphasized the importance of having plans in place to quickly test and provide treatment to potentially impacted farm workers following positive results among cattle herds.’

Legal Insurrections will recall my recent post: Former White House Dr. Deborah Birx used the principals for fighting AIDS (a disease caused by the bloodborne pathogen, HIV) for fighting a virus that is contracted through the air (covid).

The most recent serious outbreak of “M-Pox” was primarily a human-to-human, sexually transmitted disease. Humans get bird flu through splashes, sprays, and aerosols from the fluids of infected animals (and if the transmission is sexual, I don’t want to know about it).

I project that the risk to humans will remain low in this cycle, and few humans will be infected. When it runs its course, the bureaucrats will pat themselves on the back  and call it a “win”. They are also want to regain credibility after the epic covid policy failures.

To put the numbers in further perspective,  over the past 20 years ( January 2003 to 26 February 2024) only 887 cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus were reported from 23 countries worldwide.  While the Infection Fatality Rate is high (52%) if infection occurs, the chances of catching are good and currently the American system of health has solid treatment options for severe flu cases.

Now I would like to use the “Way Back Machine” and remind everyone what the CDC did during the “Summer of Monkeypox” in 2022. The agency was originally recommended the wearing of masks:

The CDC last week had added mask-wearing as a precautionary measure for people traveling to countries where monkeypox has been detected. The CDC removed that advice from its website late Monday following social-media posts criticizing the agency for what they called mixed messages over the risk posed by the virus.

A CDC spokeswoman said the agency removed the advice because it caused confusion, but didn’t respond immediately to a request for a more detailed explanation.

Review of the Monkeypox outbreak history showed it was changes in individual behavior and robust public education at the community level about the mode of transmission that ended the spread of the disease.

However, farmers are still going to farm and ranchers are still going to ranch. My focus on the bird flu has been out of concern for the impact on our good supply. Many share that concern.

The good news: While poultry farms are still at risk, cattle ranches and dairy farms aren’t being hit with severe cases.

Dairy farmers in Texas first became concerned three weeks ago when cattle started falling ill with what officials called “mystery dairy cow disease,” Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. Milk production fell sharply and the cows were lethargic and weren’t eating much.

“We hadn’t seen anything like it before,” he said. “It was kind of like they had a cold.”

With cattle, the virus doesn’t appear to be nearly as deadly or contagious as it is with poultry, Hagerman said. “If this virus gets into a poultry block, every animal is infected within a very short period of time. And we’re just not seeing that so far, or it’s not being reported by the cattle producers and by the veterinarians.”

That means fewer deaths for dairy cattle, and fewer production disruptions for the dairy industry.

Poultry prices are also not being impacted at this point. While millions of egg laying chickens have been depopulated, commercial broiler operations – chickens raised for their meat – have not been greatly affected. Some turkey flocks have been impacted.

I am inclined to remain skeptical of any advice the CDC gives that is not tied directly to the farms in which HPAI infections are occurring.  I think the current priority, as well as the money and the man-power, should be at protecting our livestock.


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Despite No Serious Human Infections with “Super Bird Flu” in US, CDC Issues a Health Alert


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