WebtivaHOSTING // webtiva.com . Webdesign da Bahia

Breaking News: Avian Flu Spreads from Cows to Humans in the US

In a groundbreaking development, the highly pathogenic avian flu A (H5N1) that has been spreading globally since 2020 has now been transmitted from a cow to a dairy farmer in the US, marking the first confirmed transmission of this virus from bovine to human ever recorded.

Rapid Detection and Unique Symptoms

Fortunately, the case was swiftly detected, and the virus manifested as an eye inflammation rather than any form of upper respiratory tract infection. Consequently, the chances of further transmission to others, if human-to-human transmission is still possible, are diminished.


Insights into Human Presentation

After nervously monitoring its spread through birds and wildlife, we now have solid data on how avian flu presents in humans, which should aid experts in assessing the public health threat and identifying more cases as and when they arise.

Expert Insights and Laboratory Confirmation

“It’s huge that the virus has crossed from birds to mammals, in this case to dairy cows, and then to humans,” says environmental toxicologist Steve Presley, director of the Biological Threat Research Laboratory at Texas Tech University.

Presley and his colleagues are behind the recently published article on this avian flu transmission case from cow to human, confirmed through tests conducted in highly biosafe laboratory conditions and shared with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Case Details and Surveillance Implications

The farmworker reported redness and discomfort in the right eye in late March 2024. Although they hadn’t been in contact with birds, they worked with cows – some of which exhibited signs of illness.

Unforeseen Transmission Route

This is also important:

Only recently has avian flu crossed from birds to cattle in the US, which surprised experts because it was the first time highly pathogenic avian flu (HPAI) had been detected in dairy cattle. Stricter monitoring of dairy cows and those in contact with them will now be necessary.

Ongoing Concerns and Future Research

This marks only the second human case of this avian flu in the US, and human-to-human transmission has yet to be observed anywhere. However, each time the pathogen encounters a human host, it has more opportunities to adapt and mutate to become more infectious to our species – as seems to have occurred in this case.


The current avian flu outbreak began in 2020, and while human infection is rare, there is a high mortality rate. Understanding how diseases are transmitted between animals and where this is happening is vital.

With it now present in various mammals, including foxes, seals, sea lions, bears, and domestic cats, and with the risks so high and the pandemic still fresh in people’s minds, scientists are working tirelessly to try to minimize the continued spread of the flu.

“This study will lay the groundwork, I believe, for much future research on how the virus is evolving,” says Presley.

The research was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.




You might also like