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The H5N1 avian flu virus is spreading in dairy cows across the country, however, the risk of human-to-human transmission is rare. Because the virus is spreading so rapidly, scientists are considering wastewater sampling for surveillance, according to CIDRAP. Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center researchers reported 19 of 23 monitored wastewater sites had at least 1 result of H5N1 detected in wastewater from March 4 to April 25. It’s likely that the virus came from an animal and not from a human, according to experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 42 dairy cattle herds in 9 states have confirmed cases of H5N1 virus infections. There have been no additional human cases detected since the 1 case reported from Texas in April. More than 260 people have so far been monitored for H5N1 symptoms.

Good news: National flu surveillance systems show no indicators of unusual flu activity in people, including avian influenza viruses.

Keeping an Eye on the H5N1 Virus
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