CDC Taking Steps to Develop Bird Flu Vaccine for Humans, Though Risk Remains Low

Officials are monitoring approximately 100 farm workers who had prolonged contact with infected birds

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Research into human vaccines for new strains of the flu is standard for the CDC. 

In an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that they have begun exploring the development of a human vaccine for the bird flu virus, which has cost the Midwest poultry industry more than seven million birds since March.

Though officials maintain that the risk to humans is low and that the birds will not enter the food supply, human cases of the H5N2 strain are still possible.

Experts are currently monitoring at least 100 farm workers who were exposed to flocks affected by the virus, as human cases are most often found in those who have had prolonged contact with infected birds.

"We're really at the beginning of this and so are monitoring very closely,” Dr. Alicia Fry, an expert on influenza at the CDC, told The Associated Press. “And we're cautiously optimistic that we will not see any human cases.”

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