The latest news on an outbreak of an airborne illness that is affecting more than 50 people across Texas, including the United States, is coming in from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency has confirmed the spread of H5N1, the H7N9 bird flu, to an outbreak center in San Antonio and has issued an alert to people in the area to be on the lookout for respiratory symptoms.
The Centers for Diseases Control and Protection (CDC) has confirmed an airborne virus that is spreading in Texas.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is leading the response.
This is an evolving situation, but we are working to contain the virus as best we can.
H5N5 and H7NA7 are the most prevalent bird flu viruses, but the CDC has not yet confirmed that the H5 and the H8 viruses have the same symptoms.
In the past, the virus had symptoms in humans in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, but that has been linked to a flu vaccine.
The latest cases have been confirmed in Texas, but it is too early to say whether they will spread to other states.
The H5NA7 virus is spread by direct contact with infected birds, like birds that have recently died.
A person can get H5-H8 by eating birds or drinking from infected water sources.
H5 was first detected in 2009 in a small number of people in a Texas nursing home.
H7-H7 was first reported in 2012 in New York and New Jersey.
The last known H7 case was in March 2018.
The H5 virus is very contagious, so people can get it from touching an infected bird or drinking contaminated water.
The virus can spread to people from infected birds that are sick or are dead.
The person with the virus can contract H5 from a bird they had touched or drank from.
H7-related symptoms include:A cough and sore throat, fever, chills, cough, runny nose, sore throat or eye irritation.
A headache, sore muscles, fever or cough.
A fever or chills that goes up to 101 degrees or higher.
A severe headache or fatigue that makes it difficult to function normally.
A loss of appetite or weight gain that worsens.
A cough or sore throat that makes you feel dizzy or faint.
A sore throat.
A low temperature of 37 degrees or lower.
If symptoms occur while traveling, seek medical attention.
H8 and H5 can also be spread from bird to bird.
If you get a cold, it is usually a sign that the bird has become infected.
The CDC recommends wearing gloves when handling poultry or other birds, but they are not mandatory for people traveling to Texas.
If you are in the Houston area, stay home if you have not been vaccinated against H7.
People should avoid travel to areas with outbreaks.
If a respiratory illness is reported, call 911 immediately and stay away from open areas of a building or vehicle.
The Texas Department for Health Services (TDSS) has started an ongoing investigation.
The state has provided the CDC with information on the case, and has provided health services workers and health care workers with vaccines and other items needed to protect themselves from the virus.
The county health department will be sending out a media alert with information about the spread.
In the meantime, Texas residents who have not gotten vaccinated should:Do not take any water or other food that comes from an infected person.
If someone has a respiratory disease, stay indoors.
Take regular and frequent rest breaks and wash your hands frequently.
If your cough or other symptoms worsen, call your doctor or get an evaluation at a health care provider.