A highly contagious strain of avian flu that has likely killed hundreds of birds and spread across more than two dozen states has been detected in a human for the first time in the U.S., officials said Thursday.
The man was working on a commercial farm in Colorado and was involved in culling poultry suspected to be infected when he was directly exposed to the H5N1 flu, the state’s health department said in a release.
The man, described as younger than 40, has reported only one symptom — fatigue — and was taking the antiviral drug Tamiflu, the department said.
The state health agency and the CDC said Thursday that the risk the virus poses to people still remains low. But while the virus rarely infects people, it can be severe when it does: According to the CDC, its mortality rate is 60%.