According to sources from the Ministry of Health, a worker at a poultry farm in the province of Guadalajara has tested positive for avian flu. The case was detected when, during the control tests of the farm, a bird flu outbreak which forced the slaughter of more than 600,000 chickens. It would be the first case of avian influenza in humans diagnosed in Spain and the second in Europe. The worker, a 79-year-old male, has remained isolated and does not present any symptoms, according to sources from the Ministry of Health. The rest of the companions on the farm have tested negative in the tests that have been carried out on them. A report published by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) indicates that the risk of contagion for the population is low, “although it is slightly higher for people who work in direct contact with infected birds.” As stated by Health, the situation is not worrying and the spread of the virus in humans is rare.
“The transmission of the virus from birds to humans is considered a rare phenomenon and transmission between people is extremely rare,” they report from Health.
It is important exercise vigilance and caution to identify future infections with routine screening and monitoring. The control of this disease in animals is essential to reduce risk and contagion in humans.
High mortality in migratory birds
According to the ECDC report, Europe is experiencing the largest bird flu pandemic on record to date. The latest published data shows 2,467 outbreaks in poultry, 48 million birds slaughtered in affected establishments, 187 cases in captive birds and 3,573 in wild animals. So far, in Spain, 79 outbreaks have been detected in wild birds and 36 in poultry farms. Andrea Ammon, director of the ECDC, points out maintain surveillance and make risk assessments. “It is vital that clinicians, laboratory and health experts, in both the animal and human sectors, collaborate and maintain a coordinated approach,” Ammon said in a statement. Human beings can get avian flu or other types of infections from the direct contact with infected animals or contaminated media. In most cases, the main symptoms of bird flu in humans can be cough, headaches or muscle aches, fatigue, conjunctivitis or fever.