Although the strain of avian flu present in the U.S. has killed around 7 million birds, it is not the same strain that has passed to people from birds at other times, in other countries. That strain is the H5N1, according to Reuters, which cites a high-ranking employee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The strain that has been passed to humans is the H5N1, according to the CDC. What we have in the States is the H5N2 . Genetic studies of the strain showed that it demonstrated different genetic makeup than that of the H5N1. There is also another strain in the U.S, the H5N8, but scientists say that this strain is also not likely to transfer to humans.
Around 650 people have contracted the H5N1 strain worldwide in the last twelve years, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Although this is the largest U.S. case of avian flu in 30 years, there have been no instances of it being transferred to humans, according to the CDC. People from the States have contracted the flu in other countries after contact with birds that carried the disease.
There is some concern that the virus might mutate, and become transferable. Alicia Fry of the CDC stated,
“At this point we don’t know very much about these viruses. They have only recently been identified.”adding,”It seems the risk for human infection is very low. This is a rapidly evolving situation.”
Fry further stated that anyone who may have been exposed in another country, and come back to the U.S. is being monitored by the CDC .