A Colorado prison inmate who worked at a poultry farm culling infected birds has become the first person in the U.S. to test positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed the case Thursday.
H5N1 has been spreading rapidly among birds in the U.S. since February but does not appear to pose a significant threat to people because humans need to be in close contact with infected birds.
The virus has been seen among commercial birds in 29 states and among wild birds in 34 states.
More than 35 million chickens and turkeys have been destroyed in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
The infected man, who is younger than 40, reported fatigue for several days and made a full recovery.
“The inmate was part of a prison work crew composed of inmates nearing release, which had been working at the farm before a case of bird flu was confirmed there on April 19,” said Lisa Wiley, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections.
In December 2021, a British man with 20 pet ducks was infected with the virus.