CDC Highlights Lack of Bird Flu Testing Amid Rising Concerns 

CDC Highlights Lack of Bird Flu Testing Amid Rising Concerns. Credit | Getty Images
CDC Highlights Lack of Bird Flu Testing Amid Rising Concerns. Credit | Getty Images

United States: According to the principal deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr Nirav Shah, there is a dearth of enough testing performed for testing bird flu among people and animals in the US. 

More about the news 

He was worried about the negligence of preventable issues and damaging already cracked trust among farm workers and owners. 

Shah added, “We would like to be doing more tests,” and, “We’d like to be testing, particularly not just symptomatic workers, but anyone on a farm which is exposed,” as the Guardian reported. 

CDC Highlights Lack of Bird Flu Testing Amid Rising Concerns. Credit | AP
CDC Highlights Lack of Bird Flu Testing Amid Rising Concerns. Credit | AP

Risk to the general public is low – Expert 

For the general populace, though, the dangers are still little, as stated by CDC. But again, the risks are higher for those working in the livestock sector and other agriculture-related activities, especially those handling animals or in contact with people from the animal’s vicinity. 

The CDC noted that it is “preparing for the possibility” of identifying Covid as potentially becoming “more transmissible between humans,” as per a report that appeared on Wednesday. 

In the farm rights issue, Shah was okay with the utilization of protective barriers but stopped short of supplying the farm workers with shots, though these are the people mostly at risk of getting or transmitting H5N1, a highly pathogenic bird flu. 

About the previous human cases of bird flu 

US officials last week notified that a third person was infected – a farm worker in Michigan who interacted with infected cattle. 

CDC Highlights Lack of Bird Flu Testing Amid Rising Concerns. Credit | Reuters
CDC Highlights Lack of Bird Flu Testing Amid Rising Concerns. Credit | Reuters

In the previous two case reports, the patient had conjunctivitis (or “pink eye”) only, while the patient in the third case had respiratory symptoms characteristic of the flu, coughing, congestion, sore throat, and runny eyes. 

Symptoms are some of the most significant signs that many people are eager to identify when a virus mutates. However, Shah was very keen to explain that such symptoms do not actually mean the virus is mutating. 

Such symptoms are as follows: Since the H5N1 infection’s identification in 2003, 888 human beings have contracted the virus and showed off the symptoms in common. 

Shas added, “This virus, like many viruses, can present in more than one way. And for that reason, we should remain alert, not alarmed,” as the Guardian reported. 

Experts urge more monitoring and testing. 

However, possessing respiratory symptoms also indicates that individuals will have a greater tendency to spread the virus among other people, as Shah noted and thereby urged regular monitoring and testing, which is more important than ever before. 

According to the CDC data, only 44 individuals have been tested so far in 2024. 

Shah added, “We have not detected any differences in markers, like emergency room visits, in areas with affected herds compared to areas without affected herds,” as the Guardian reported. 

He said, “Our influenza infrastructure is strong, and it’s notable to discuss the ways in which it differs from our Covid infrastructure.” 

As the reports suggest that testing faciliy is provided throughout the country, and a potent vaccince for the prevalent strain ahve also been in produced, also a proper virus monotoring system has been well established. 

Shah continued, “That said, we’d love to be doing more,” as the Guardian reported.