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Information for Workers to Reduce Risk of Infection with H5N1 Bird Flu

Per CDC:

H5N1 bird flu is a virus that has recently been detected for the first time in cows. The virus can infect people who work with infected animals or their byproducts (e.g., raw milk), such as dairy workers.


Information for workers

Take steps to reduce your risk of infection with avian influenza A viruses associated with severe disease when working with animals or materials, including raw milk, confirmed infected or potentially infected with these novel influenza A viruses. Examples of people working with or exposed to animals include:

  • Poultry and livestock farmers and workers

  • Backyard bird flock owners

  • Veterinarians and veterinary staff

  • Animal health responders

  • Public health responders

  • Slaughterhouse workers performing certain tasks on lactating dairy cattle including:

  • Unloading or handling live lactating dairy cattle for slaughter, including workers in holding pens and involved with antemortem inspection

  • Postmortem processes including the post-mortem inspection and handling and transporting viscera

  • Removing and transporting udders from dairy cattle for further processing or rendering

Avoid unprotected direct or close physical contact with:

  • Sick birds, livestock, or other animals

  • Carcasses of birds, livestock, or other animals that have died from unknown causes

  • Raw milk

  • Viscera and udders from lactating dairy cattle

  • Feces or litter

  • Surfaces and water (e.g., ponds, waterers, buckets, pans, troughs) on farms with potentially infected animals that might be contaminated with animal waste


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