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05/05/22 Health Advisory: Colorado person first U.S. case of H5 bird flu

A person in Colorado tested positive for avian influenza A(H5N1) virus (H5 bird flu), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported April 28, 2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed it is the first U.S. case of H5 bird flu. The person was involved in the culling of poultry with presumptive H5 bird flu. The person reported 1 symptom (fatigue) that resolved after 3 days. The person is in isolation on oseltamivir treatment.

Starting in January 2022, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) found highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus in U.S. wild birds. The virus was later found in U.S. commercial poultry and backyard bird flocks.

Detection of H5 bird flu in 1 person involved in poultry culling does not change the health risk to the general public, which is low. People exposed to infected birds during work or recreation are at greater risk and should follow recommended precautions. For details, see CDC’s April 29, 2022 health advisory.

Influenza Update—Week 16

State and national influenza activity during the week ending April 23, 2022.

To help healthcare providers stay up to date and make testing and treatment decisions, we publish influenza activity updates throughout the season.

To determine influenza activity level, we monitor emergency department and urgent care visits; hospitalizations; lab test results; and outbreaks and deaths healthcare providers report.

Offer influenza vaccine throughout the season until the vaccine expires. Recommend influenza vaccine to all eligible people older than 6 months. Direct patients to helpful information on our flu page.

Check out this season’s testing and treatment guidelines and a summary of last season’s influenza activity.

Washington

Influenza activity remained low but increased. See Washington State Department of Health’s full report for details.

Urgent visits

  • 1.7% of visits to ILI Network were for influenza-like illness* (ILI), below the 1.8% baseline.

Deaths**

  • So far this season, providers reported 13 deaths from influenza.

Outbreaks

  • So far this season, 5 long-term care facilities reported an ILI outbreak.

Lab data

  • WHO/NREVSS labs reported 3.5% of specimens tested positive for influenza A.

Notes

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ILI case definition is fever and cough and/or sore throat in the absence of a known cause other than influenza. Interpret ILI data with caution, as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected healthcare-seeking behavior and other respirator factors associated with respiratory syndrome monitoring.
⁎⁎Meets the case definition for influenza-associated death, i.e., resulting directly or indirectly from a clinically compatible illness laboratory-confirmed to be influenza. Influenza deaths are likely under-reported. Providers might not list influenza as a cause of death, order influenza testing or notify the Health Department of the death.

††ILI Network is part of the CDC ILINet outpatient ILI surveillance network. ILINet includes more than 2,600 United States outpatient healthcare providers. They report to CDC total patients seen and patients with ILI each week. Washington is in Region 10, along with Alaska, Idaho and Oregon.

World Health Organization (WHO)/National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System.

United States

Influenza activity varied by region and continued to increase in some areas of the country. CDC confirmed the first U.S. case of H5 bird flu (in Colorado) this week.

Most viruses detected this season were A(H3N2). Data show most characterized H3N2 viruses are antigenically different from this season’s vaccine reference virus. While the number of B/Victoria viruses circulating this season is small, most characterized B/Victoria viruses are antigenically similar to this season’s vaccine reference virus.

The percentage of outpatient visits for respiratory illness remained stable compared to the previous week and is below baseline. See CDC’s full report for details.

Urgent visits

  • 2.1% of visits to ILINet providers were for ILI, below the 2.5% baseline.
  • New Mexico reported very high activity. Puerto Rico and Colorado reported high activity. Massachusetts reported moderate activity. All other states and jurisdictions reported low or minimal activity.

Lab data

  • Clinical labs reported 7.8% of specimens tested positive for influenza. Most viruses subtyped this season are A(H3N2).

Mortality surveillance

  • Pneumonia, influenza and/or COVID-19 caused 6.8% of deaths, at the 6.8% epidemic threshold for week 16. COVID-19 caused most of the deaths.

Pediatric deaths

  • This week, a provider reported 1 pediatric influenza death that occurred in week 15. So far this season, providers reported 23 pediatric influenza deaths, all from influenza A.

Questions?

Contact Cowlitz County Health & Human Services at (360) 414-5599.