Alert Issued to Clinicians, Health Departments, and Public on Avian Influenza

April 8, 2024
The CDC listed several recommendations in its alert

On April 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to inform clinicians, state health departments, and the public of a recently confirmed human infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) virus in the United States following exposure to presumably infected dairy cattle.

On April 2, we reported that a person in Texas has tested positive for the virus, only the second to ever be reported in the U.S.

No case of severe illness or death with HPAI A(H5N1) virus infection has been reported in the United States. Since 1997, more than 900 sporadic human cases of HPAI A(H5N1) have been reported in 23 countries, with more than half of these cases resulting in death. However, since 2015–2016, human cases have decreased substantially, and only a small number of sporadic human cases have been reported worldwide since 2022. Clinical illness with HPAI A(H5N1) virus infection has ranged from mild disease (e.g., conjunctivitis and upper respiratory symptoms) to severe or critical disease (e.g., pneumonia, multi-organ failure, and sepsis) and death.

CDC’s updated recommendations include instructions for infection prevention and control measures, using personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, antiviral treatment, patient investigations, monitoring of exposed persons (including persons exposed to sick or dead wild and domesticated animals and livestock with suspected or confirmed infection with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses), and antiviral chemoprophylaxis of exposed persons.

The CDC has the complete list of recommendations.

About the Author

Janette Wider | Editor-in-Chief

Janette Wider is Editor-in-Chief for Healthcare Purchasing News.