Top CDC Officials Warn That United States Needs More Bird Flu Tests

( – The Centers for Disease Control officials have spoken out about the lack of testing for the current Bird Flu situation.

Dr. Nirav Shah, the principal deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that he believes testing for Bird Flu in the US in both people and animals is lacking. However, he’s also stated that he’s wary of pushing this as he doesn’t want to damage trust with farm workers.

“We would like to be doing more tests,” Shah said. “We’d like to be testing particularly not just symptomatic workers, but anyone on a farm who is exposed.” He continued, “Right now we want to be in a role where we’re building trust with farms and farm workers.”

The CDC has said that the risk is still low for the general public, but they are elevated for agricultural workers who are in close contact with animals. They are preparing for the possibility that the disease could spread more easily among people and become a more widespread problem.

Last week, officials announced that a third person had tested positive for Bird Flu, although the symptoms were a bit different from those that tested positive before. The first two cases presented only pink eye as the symptom, but in this third person, they experienced other symptoms like a cough, congestion, sore throat, and watery eyes, which is usually common with the Flu.

“This virus, like many viruses, can present in more than one way. And for that reason, we should remain alert, not alarmed,” Shah said.

He said the fact that this person was having respiratory issues means that it is more easily spread to other humans. Despite the Bird Flu being found in cows and people, there have only been just a little over forty people tested for the disease according to the CDC, which isn’t enough according to Shah. He continues to stress that there could be cases unaccounted for if there is not enough testing.

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