A highly contagious strain of avian flu is spreading throughout the U.S, and has been found in 15 states so far.
Wisconsin is the most recent state to report H5N1, the scientific term for the avian Flu. The strain was found in a commercial poultry flock.
While the rate of spread is alarming, cases of cross-species infection are extraordinarily uncommon.
“It’s a very rare event,”CBS News spoke with Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is an expert on infectious diseases. “It requires very close association of the human with the bird.”
And while the CDC says there have been no reported human cases of H5N1, it is possible for a person to get it, but it would take a lot of the virus to get “down deep in the human’s lungs. They can become sick, but then it’s very rare for them to transmit it to anyone else,” continued Schaffner.
Commercial poultry flocks were destroyed to try and stop the spread. This year, nearly 7 million chickens and turkeys have died from influenza.