First Human Case of Bird Flu in the U.S. is Found in Colorado Inmate

A Colorado inmate involved in the culling of poultry at a farm as part of a pre-release program has the first human case of avian flu in the United States. Here, cage-free chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm near Waukon, Iowa, in October 2015. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

A man in Colorado is the first human in the U.S. to test positive for bird flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

The case comes as the H5N1 bird influenza tears through the U.S., posing a low risk to humans while leading to the deaths of millions of birds. Some of the birds have died from the disease, but the vast majority of them are being culled to curb the spread.

The patient, who is younger than 40, was involved in the culling of presumptively infected poultry at a commercial farm in Colorado’s Montrose County, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He is an inmate at a state correctional facility in Delta County and was working with poultry as part of a pre-release employment program.

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