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Rising Cases of Bird Flu in US Mammals Raise Concerns of Human Threat

Visual Representation for Avian Flu among poultry birds | Credits: Shutterstock

United States: The United States has been reporting an increase in cases linked to bird flu in mammals, which is a potential threat to humans. According to the reports shared by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the confirmed cases of the infection have been found in Washington, Kentucky, and Montana in 2024.

The health officials of the United States have asked the general public to stay cautious against the avian flu as there are potential risk of contracting H5N1. The concerns and worries have been increasing after the flu has been spreading among the marine mammals.

Details of flu infection in the US

According to the health officials, the virus was detected in raccoon in Kentucky, in Washington it was found in three striped skunks and in Montana it was discovered in a mountain lion.

Several health authorities have mentioned that the cases linked to the illness can become severe and fatal in certain cases. As per them, the general public should stay cautious against the infection, as per CBS News.

Avian flu and its roots in the US

Mostly, the infection is found among the wild birds and poultry. The official stats have revealed that as many as 82 million birds have been contracted to the infection in around 48 states of the US.

Now, the infection has spread across the mammals, rising the concerns. However, the experts have suggested that the dangers linked to the infection are low.

Experts’ comments about the latest prevailing situation!

An expert for the Wildlife Conservation Society – Dr Chris Walzer, told CBS News, “I think it’s quite likely. This avian influenza outbreak has been one of the largest threats to wildlife globally. We just can’t wait for it to hit human populations.”

While elaborating on the disease and its threat to humans, Walzer stated that the “new traits could create a problem for us humans.”

Along with this, precautionary measures were also shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which mentioned that the people working with poultry farms must stay alerted while working close to the birds.

What does the latest study linked to avian flu reveal?

Recently, an outbreak, associated with avian flu, was reported in the United States which resulted in skyrocketed prices of eggs in California. Across Chile, Peru and Argentina, the avian flu has taken lives of around 65,000 birds and 50,000 animals.

H5N1 spread in marine mammals!

The health authorities have been concerned and worried about the spread of the infection among the marine animals. Recently, the traces of the infection has been found among the marine species found in Atlantic coast of South America. Following this, the researchers and experts conducted detailed study upon the brain samples of the dead seas lions, which surprisingly testes positive.

In this regard, a virologist from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology in Argentina – Agustina Rimondi, said during an interview session with Wildlife Society, “This confirms that while the virus may have adapted to marine mammals, it still has the ability to infect birds.”

He further continued, “It is a multi-species outbreak,” according to Wildlife Society.

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