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Second human avian flu case linked to infected cattle
Avian influenza has been confirmed in more than 60 herds in the USA.
Michigan farm worker had mild eye symptoms.

Health officials in the USA have confirmed a second human case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) linked to the ongoing outbreak of the virus in dairy cattle.

The patient, a farm worker in Michigan who was being monitored after exposure to infected cattle, only reported mild eye symptoms and has recovered. An eye swab from the patient tested positive for the virus, although a nasal sample tested negative.

The case is similar to one in Texas in late March in which a dairy worker also tested positive after exposure to infected cattle and experienced mild eye symptoms. The earlier case is believed to have been the first reported instance of the H5N1 virus being transmitted from a mammal to a human.

A previous human case in 2022, in which a farm worker from Colorado tested positive for the virus, was linked to exposure from infected poultry.

The outbreak of the virus among dairy cattle in the USA has so far spread to nine states and affected more than 60 herds. Mandatory testing has been introduced for cattle being moved between states.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus is spreading between humans.

Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said: “The current health risk to the general public remains low.

“This virus is being closely monitored, and we have not seen signs of sustained human-to-human transmission at this point. This is exactly how public health is meant to work, in early detection and monitoring of new and emerging illnesses.”

Although no cases of the virus have been detected in cattle in the UK, the Animal and Plant Health Agency recently updated its case definition and diagnostic testing criteria for highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in mammals to include cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

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News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.