A virus that typically isn't a threat to humans is seeing cases rising in Michigan and the U.S. Another case of the bird flu has been detected in a Michigan farm worker, making this the third person to become infected. But this time, new symptoms have officials concerned that the virus might be changing.


2nd Person In Michigan Diagnosed With Bird Flu

According to the CDC, this is the second farmworker in Michigan in a week to be diagnosed with the multistate outbreak of H5N1, known as bird flu, linked to sick dairy cows. A dairy worker in Texas was also diagnosed with the virus in March. This latest case is different because the patient also had upper respiratory symptoms, including sore throat, cough, and congestion. Whereas the previous patients' only sign of illness was pinkeye. So is the virus changing? And is there a threat of the virus continuing to spread?

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The CDC said in a statement that it's performing genetic testing on samples of the virus taken from the patient to look for changes that indicate whether it’s mutating and allow it to be more transmissible. According to the statement:

Given the extent of the spread of this virus in dairy cows, additional human cases in people with higher risk exposures would not be surprising. A CDC priority right now is to prevent additional cases of A(H5N1) infections in dairy herd workers, who are at higher risk of exposure.

Officials say the spread of bird flu among the general public remains low and its influenza surveillance systems have not picked up any unusual flu activity.

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