The CDC just announced a new virus to be worried about: the very scary H5N1 bird flu, which was found in a single male inmate in Colorado who felt tired.
Yes, tired. The only symptom the 40-year-old inmate reported, according to the CDC, was “fatigue.” Why this warranted testing from the Colorado Health Department or how doctors became alerted to a single man in Colorado who happened to work with birds and felt tired one day is still a mystery.
“A person has tested positive for avian influenza A(H5) virus (H5 bird flu) in the U.S., as reported by Colorado and confirmed by CDC. This case occurred in a person who had direct exposure to poultry and was involved in the culling (depopulating) of poultry with presumptive H5N1 bird flu. The patient reported fatigue for a few days as their only symptom and has since recovered,” the CDC wrote in a media statement.
Despite this statement, it doesn’t look like the man was actually infected with the virus. It’s fake news.
“Repeat testing on the person was negative for influenza,” Colorado officials said in a statement. “Because the person was in close contact with infected poultry, the virus may have been in the person’s nose without causing infection.”
Nonetheless, despite the nearly barely perceptible symptoms and likeliness the man wasn’t actually infected, mainstream media outlets have had a field day with the story, labelling the man as a “victim” of the “highly contagious,” “highly pathogenic avian influenza” and warning the public of possible contagion on one hand while reassuring them the risk remains low on the other.