Unprecedented Spread of H5N1 Bird Flu in US Dairy Cows Raises Concerns

Unprecedented Spread of H5N1 Bird Flu in US Dairy Cows Raises Concerns

1 minute read
Updated 7 days ago

Research and Findings

Scientists have discovered that the bird flu virus affecting dairy cows can bind to human respiratory cell receptors, potentially posing a significant risk for human infection.

Experiments have shown that the virus can spread through contaminated milk, causing illness in mice and ferrets, but it does not efficiently transmit through the air between animals.

Global and Local Implications

The outbreak has spread to dairy farms in 12 states, marking the first known cases of H5N1 in U.S. cows and leading to four mild human infections among dairy workers.

Health officials and researchers are closely monitoring the situation, as the virus's ability to adapt to human receptors raises concerns over its pandemic potential, despite current low human-to-human transmission rates.
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