The US CDC is asking states to keep flu testing high this summer. By Reuters

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(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control advised states on Tuesday to assist in surveillance of the H5N1 bird flu by increasing testing of influenza A virus samples during the summer season to help catch even rare cases of transmission of the virus to humans track down.

CDC’s Deputy Director Nirav Shah called for increased vigilance in light of the typical seasonal decline in flu activity and testing due to the ongoing H5N1 outbreak among poultry and U.S. dairy cattle.

Bird flu has been found in dozens of dairy herds in nine states. One person from Texas who had contact with dairy cows became infected with H5N1 bird flu and developed conjunctivitis.

©Reuters.  FILE PHOTO: Test tubes labeled

Public health laboratories process flu samples from local jurisdictions and sub-type them to identify them as a common virus or a novel virus such as H5N1.

The CDC had met with state health officials earlier in May and asked them to facilitate the distribution of protective equipment for farm workers to prevent bird flu infection.

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