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here are the symptoms of the first infected person

The United States has reported the first human case linked to the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus epidemic circulating in dairy cattle. It concerns an employee of a Texas dairy company who showed symptoms of conjunctivitis with bleeding in both eyes, but no visual impairment. This information was detailed in a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine by experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, the Texas Department of State Health Services and Texas Tech University Bioterrorism Response. Laboratory in Lubbock.

According to the letter, the patient began experiencing symptoms in late March 2024, prompting an initial medical examination that noted subconjunctival hemorrhage and serous drainage in the right eye. The person denied contact with wild birds or poultry, but reported direct exposure to dairy cows showing signs of illness. Subsequent testing confirmed infection with the H5N1 virus, specifically belonging to clade 2.3.4.4b genotype B3.13.

Despite being prescribed antiviral medication and isolated at home, the patient reported that the conjunctivitis resolved over the following days without respiratory symptoms. The virus identified in the patient had a mutation associated with viral adaptation to mammalian hosts, but no genetic markers associated with reduced sensitivity to antiviral drugs were found.

The experts involved in the case highlighted the potential pandemic risk of H5N1 viruses and the availability of vaccine candidates that could be used if necessary. This case reminds us of the importance of monitoring and controlling the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses to prevent future human infections.