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.
Members of the response team were all given personal protective equipment while working on the farm, and the affected flock has been euthanized.
The patient has since recovered after reporting fatigue that lasted a few days as his only symptom. He was treated with oseltamivir, an antiviral influenza medication commonly sold under the Tamiflu brand.