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Prisoner tests positive for bird flu, first recorded case in US

A Colorado prisoner has tested positive for bird flu, the first known case in the United States

The unidentified man tested positive for the H5N1 flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Thursday. The highly contagious strain of bird flu can be deadly in humans, but health officials said the man is largely asymptomatic and is taking Tamiflu to combat symptoms of fatigue.

The inmate, who was described as being in his 40s, was working on a Montrose County commercial farm under a pre-release employment program when he tested positive. Health officials identified a “single nasal specimen” in the man and said repeated tests on the individual were negative for influenza. The affected herd was euthanized.

“Scientists believe the risk to humans is low because H5 influenza viruses are spreading among wild birds and poultry,” according to a statement from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “They do not normally infect humans or spread from person to person. There are currently no known cases of this H5 influenza virus spreading among humans. There are no other confirmed human cases in Colorado or the United States at this time.


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