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Bird flu: CDC sets up dashboard to track spread of H5N1 avian influenza virus

The agency is monitoring 260 people who could have been exposed to the virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has created a dashboard to track the spread of bird flu, USA Today is reporting.

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The dashboard was launched on Tuesday and included information on wastewater sampling sites that have tested positive for influenza A, of which avian influenza (“bird flu”) is a subtype. The influence is identified as  H5N1.

The dashboard will monitor any spread of the virus, according to the agency.

“By tracking the percentage of specimens tested that are positive for influenza A viruses, we can monitor for unusual increases in influenza activity that may be an early sign of spread of novel influenza A viruses, including H5N1,” the CDC said in its report.

The virus has been seen in cattle in several states and at least one person who deals with an infected heard of the cattle.

The CDC said last week that the virus can jump from species to species.

According to the dashboard, the agency is monitoring 260 people who have been exposed to dairy cows infected with H5N1.

The U.S. government is collecting samples of ground beef at retail stores in states with outbreaks of bird flu in dairy cows, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.

The agency said it would test for any signs of the virus, but remains confident the meat supply is safe, according to Reuters.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration said last week that samples of pasteurized milk from grocery stores in the U.S. have tested positive for remnants of the bird flu virus, according to The Associated Press.

The agency said that while they are continuing to study the issue, consumers should not be concerned about the safety of the milk supply because the flu remnants are “inactivated” and the findings “do not represent actual virus that may be a risk to consumers.”

“To date, we have seen nothing that would change our assessment that the commercial milk supply is safe,” the FDA said in a statement.

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