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Health officials detect first human case of bird flu in Michigan

A black and white cow with yellow tags hanging from its ears stairs directly into the camera. Its surrounded by a sea of other cows in a crowded pen. A brown metal fence separates the cows from the camera, with the building they are housed in have many large openings where the blue sky can be seen.
Rich Pedroncelli
/
AP
A dairy cow in California.

Avian influenza has infected numerous dairy cattle and poultry farms in Michigan, and now it has spread to a Michigan dairy worker.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced the first human case of avian influenza, or bird flu, in Michigan.

Officials did not say in what part of the state the illness occurred. MDHHS spokesperson Chelsea Wuth said this was done to protect both the farm and the worker's privacy.

The virus was detected in a dairy farm worker who had regular contact with infected livestock.

State health officials said the worker’s symptoms were mild, and they have since recovered from the illness.

Public risk posed by the virus remains low, according to officials.

MDHHS advised those who are regularly exposed to infected livestock to report even mild symptoms.

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.