NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The H5N1 bird flu has already led to the deaths of millions of chickens worldwide and now the latest strain has spread to mammals in the United States.
330 deceased seals in New England tested positive for this bird flu strain in 2022, according to a new study.
“There’s no reason to think that it couldn’t infect, humans. But we don’t see widespread infection yet. This year’s flu vaccine does not contain a strain that targets this particular bird flu, although vaccine manufacturers say they could produce it quickly if necessary,” Yale Medicine Dr. F. Perry Wilson said.
With the first full day of spring coming up on Tuesday, warmer weather is just around the corner. Doctors are warning people to take the proper steps to prevent tick bites, as the U.S. has seen an increase in tickborne illnesses across the country.
CDC: Tickborne illness up 25% in the US
The mild winter in Connecticut did not kill off enough ticks and now doctors are concerned about a tickborne disease called babesiosis. If not treated it can have serious health complications and be fatal to immunocompromised people.
“It’s important to know that babesiosis does not present with that typical rash that might clue people in that something’s going on,” he said.
Dr. Wilson also weighed in on a new study about coffee drinkers being less likely to develop diabetes and having a lower body mass index. He warns that high intakes of coffee have been linked to issues like abnormal heart rhythms and is ok with consuming one to two cups a day.
“I should also remind people that it’s very different to drink a cup of black coffee and to drink, you know, a sugar-filled frappuccino that might have 1000 calories in it,” Dr. Wilson said.