UTAH (ABC4) – With the U.S. reporting its first human case of Avian Influenza, many are wondering how concerned they should be about bird flu.
According to the CDC, the risk of spread to humans is low. The only U.S. case confirmed involves a man who had direct exposure to poultry with presumptive H5N1 bird flu. The CDC states “the patient reported fatigue for a few days as their only symptom and has since recovered.”
Bailee Woolstenhulme with the Utah Department of Agriculture said this strain of flu is similar to what we saw back in 2014-2015, but at this time, it does not appear to be a threat to humans.
However, Woolstenhulme said there are things people can do to protect themselves. The CDC said infected birds shed the virus in their saliva, mucus and feces. This is one of the many reasons experts recommend you put away birdbaths and feeders during migration season… which is right now…. and one of the reasons Woolstenhulme said Utah is currently seeing an increase in cases.
“Once migration season dies down, we’ll probably see a decrease in cases,” said Woolstenhulme.
Woolstenhulme added there is relatively no risk in eating eggs or poultry, but she did recommend cooking chicken to the proper temperature, which is 165 degrees. But, she said that is what they always recommend when handling poultry.