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WHO confirms first fatal human case of H5N2 bird flu – ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday announced that a 59-year-old resident of the State of Mexico has died of bird flu, the first confirmed case of a human infected with the H5N2 variant. The patient died on April 24 after suffering from fever, shortness of breath, diarrhoea and nausea. Despite having no history of exposure to poultry or other animals, the person had multiple underlying illnesses. medical conditionsInvolved chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, according to a statement Mexico’s Ministry of Health,

The patient, who was bedridden for three weeks before developing acute symptoms, was hospitalized in Mexico City and died of the disease the same day, WHO reported. This case represents the first laboratory-confirmed human infection with Influenza A(H5N2). The virus is spreading globally And this The first avian H5 virus A man in Mexico reported this.

“Although the source of exposure to the virus in this case is currently unknown, A(H5N2) virus cases have been reported in poultry in Mexico,” the WHO said. Mexican health authorities conducted laboratory tests and reported the confirmed case to the Ministry of Health. UN health body On 23rd May.

In March, H5N2 cases were found in a backyard poultry farm in the state of Michoacan, with other outbreaks identified in the state of Mexico. However, establishing a link between the human case and the infection has been difficult. Poultry Infections The WHO estimates that the risk to the general population is “low”.

The Mexican Health Ministry stressed that there is no risk of infection for the population, saying all samples from the patient’s identified contacts have tested negative. Authorities are closely monitoring the fields near the victim’s home and have set up a permanent surveillance system to detect other cases in wildlife in the area.

Andrew Pekos, an influenza expert at Johns Hopkins University, highlighted the complexity of the situation, saying, “How this person became infected is a big question mark that is not fully addressed, at least in this initial report.”

The World Health Organisation and Mexican health officials The source of infection remains under investigation. Bird flu is known to infect a variety of mammals, including seals, raccoons, bears and cattle, primarily through contact with infected birds. Scientists remain alert to changes in the virus that may indicate its adaptation to spread more easily to humans.

In the United States, a different strain of bird flu, H5N1, has been spreading in herds of dairy cows, with a few human cases reported. However, none of these cases have resulted in human-to-human transmission.

Australia also reported its first human case of A(H5N1) infection in May, with no symptoms of infection, while more cases of H7 bird flu were reported on farms in the state of Victoria.

“Since 1997, the H5 virus has consistently shown a propensity to infect mammals more than any other avian influensa virus,” Pekosz said. “So this continues to ring alarm bells that we must be very vigilant about monitoring these infections, because every spillover is an opportunity for that virus to accumulate mutations that make it better able to infect humans.”

  • Published on June 6, 2024 at 12:21 PM IST

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