Colorado and China Report 1st Cases of Bird Flu in Humans

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Courtesy of Berit Watkin (Flickr CC0)

Health officials from China and Colorado have announced their first cases of bird flu in their areas. A 4-year-old in Zhumadian City, Henan Province, China was diagnosed with the H3N8 avian influenza, becoming the first reported case of a human infected by the virus, according to an announcement from China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on April 26, 2022.

In the United States, a man working on a farm in Montrose County, Colorado, has tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu two days later. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) stated that he has reported feeling fatigue, however, he is mostly asymptomatic. Under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance, the man is taking the antiviral medication oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

bird flu
Courtesy of jans canon (Flickr CC0)

It is rare for humans to contract bird flu. Those who have reported experiencing no to severe symptoms. Such as:

  • Conjunctivitis,
  • Mild flu-like upper respiratory symptoms.
  • Fever of 100ºF or more.
  • Feeling feverish even though one is not present.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Body or muscle aches.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Headaches.
  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Seizures.
  • Pneumonia.

Diagnosing the bird flu in humans cannot be done through clinical signs and symptoms alone. The virus infection is usually diagnosed by collecting a swab from the nose or throat of the sick individual. Testing for the virus is more accurate when conducted during the first couple of days of feeling ill.

The little boy in China first started to experience flu-like symptoms on April 5. By the 10th, his symptoms worsened and he was hospitalized. On April 24, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention tested the child revealing that he was infected with bird flu.

In late 2021, experts discovered H5N1 outbreaks in U.S. poultry and wild birds. The CDC stated they have found the virus in the backyard and commercial birds in 29 states. They also found wild birds with avian flu in 34 states.

The CDC added they have been tracking the health of over 2,500 people who were exposed to bird flu. The man in Colorado is the only case they have found.

Written by Sheena Robertson


CDC: Bird Flu in People
9 News: 1st human case of H5 bird flu reported in Colorado; by Angela Case
Forbes: First Human Case Of H3N8 Bird Flu Reported In China; by Bruce Y. Lee

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Berit Watkin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy jans canon’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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