(.) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday it had met with state health officials and asked them to facilitate distribution of protective gear for farm workers to avoid infection against H5N1 bird flu. The CDC said it asked state health departments to work with their agriculture department counterparts and partners in communities to prioritize the distribution of personal protective equipment from their stockpile to workers on farms where dairy herds have been known to be infected with bird flu.Principal Deputy Director Nirav Shah said while the risk to the U.S. public remains low, states should act to protect people with work exposures including people on dairy farms, poultry farms and in slaughterhouses. The CDC urged farmers, workers and emergency responders last week to wear appropriate protective gear when in direct or close physical contact with sick birds, livestock, feces, raw milk or contaminated surfaces.An analysis of the outbreak released on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests the virus has been circulating in the country’s dairy cows for about four months before being reported on March 25.Preliminary tests of milk, baby formula and other dairy products suggests they are safe to consume, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.