Bird Infections with Highly-Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1) Viruses: Recommendations for Human Health Investigations and Response
Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network (HAN)
June 2, 2015, 13:00 ET (1:00 PM ET)
Summary: Highly-pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses have been identified in birds in the United States since December 2014. The purpose of this HAN Advisory is to notify public health workers and clinicians of the potential for human infection with these viruses and to describe CDC recommendations for patient investigation and testing, infection control including the use personal protective equipment, and antiviral treatment and prophylaxis.
Between December 15, 2014, and May 29, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed more than 200 findings of birds infected with highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1) viruses. The majority of these infections have occurred in poultry, including backyard and commercial flocks. USDA surveillance indicates that more than 40 million birds have been affected (either infected or exposed) in 20 states. These are the first reported infections with these viruses in US wild or domestic birds.
While these recently-identified HPAI H5 viruses are not known to have caused disease in humans, their appearance in North American birds may increase the likelihood of human infection in the United States. Human infection with other avian influenza viruses, including a different HPAI (H5N1) virus found in Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world; HPAI (H5N6) virus; and (H7N9) virus, has been associated with severe, sometimes fatal, disease. Previous human infections with other avian viruses have most often occurred after unprotected direct physical contact with infected birds or surfaces contaminated by avian influenza viruses, being in close proximity to infected birds, or visiting a live poultry market. Human infection with avian influenza viruses has not occurred from eating properly cooked poultry or poultry products. For more information on the origin of the recently-identified HPAI H5 viruses in the United States, their clinical presentation in birds, and their suspected clinical presentation in humans, please see http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/hpai/hpai-background-clinical-illness.htm.
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