WHO Confirms First Human Death from Novel Bird Flu Strain

Bird Flu

WHO has confirmed the first ever case of bird flu causing death in humans.

The World Health Organization has verified that a person has passed away due to a strain of avian influenza that has never been observed in humans before.

On Wednesday (5 June), the WHO announced in a statement that a 59-year-old person from Mexico started experiencing symptoms on 17 April.

The patient reportedly had a fever, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, nausea, and overall discomfort, and then went to see a doctor a week later.

They were admitted to the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, but unfortunately passed away on the same day because of complications related to their illness.

Bird Flu

The patient experienced a number of symptoms. (Getty Photo)

On May 23, the Mexico International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point (NFP) informed the WHO that a respiratory sample was taken for testing. The resident was found to be infected with avian influenza A(H5N2) virus, which is commonly known as bird flu.

The person did not have contact with birds or other animals before showing signs of bird flu, but they did have several medical issues and had been confined to for three weeks prior to the onset of symptoms.

The world's first laboratory-confirmed case of A(H5N2) bird flu infection and the first reported H5 virus infection in Mexico were marked by their death.

The CDC reports that H5 bird flu is common among wild birds and has caused multiple cases of H5 in dairy workers in the US because of outbreaks in poultry and dairy cows.

Since 2022, the has recorded four instances of bird flu in humans. However, the CDC assures that the current risk to public health is minimal.

Bird Flu

The patient didn't have any contact with animals. (Getty Stock Photo)

The CDC is closely monitoring the situation and collaborating with states to keep a close eye on individuals who have had contact with animals, stated the organization.

After discovering that the resident in Mexico had contracted the virus, authorities carried out an investigation and found no additional cases reported.

Even though the person did not have contact with birds, the World Health Organization confirmed that a severe bird flu outbreak occurred in March at a poultry farm in Michoacán, near the State of Mexico where the lived.

In the same month, there was an occurrence of low pathogenicity avian influenza A(H5N2) in poultry in Texcoco, State of Mexico. Another outbreak of LPAI A(H5N2) happened in April in the municipality of Temascalapa.

However, it remains uncertain whether the human case is connected to the recent poultry outbreaks.

Image Credit: James Leynse/Corbis via / SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *