First Human Case of Bird Flu A H5N2 Reported in Mexico

First Human Case of Bird Flu A H5N2 Reported in Mexico
First Human Case of Bird Flu A H5N2 Reported in Mexico. (ANI Photo)
First Human Case of Bird Flu A H5N2 Reported in Mexico
First Human Case of Bird Flu A H5N2 Reported in Mexico. (ANI Photo)

First Human Case of Bird Flu A H5N2 Reported in Mexico

First Human Case of Bird Flu A H5N2 Reported in Mexico

First Human Case of Bird Flu A H5N2 Reported in Mexico

A 59-year-old man in Mexico City has died after contracting a subtype of bird flu, specifically the influenza A (H5N2) virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced. This marks the first confirmed human case of this subtype globally and the first instance of an avian H5 virus infection in a human in Mexico.

Details of the Case:

  • Patient Background: The man had several pre-existing health conditions and had been bedridden for three weeks prior to showing symptoms.
  • Symptoms: He developed fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, and general discomfort.
  • Timeline: He was hospitalized and passed away on April 24.

WHO’s Statement:

  • Source of Exposure: The source of exposure to the virus remains unknown. While H5N2 has been detected in poultry in Mexico, the patient had no known contact with poultry or other animals.
  • Risk Assessment: The WHO considers the risk to the general population to be low.
  • Ongoing Investigation: The connection between this human case and recent poultry outbreaks is yet to be determined.

Background on H5N2 in Mexico:

  • Recent Poultry Outbreaks:
  • In March 2024, a high pathogenicity avian influenza A(H5N2) outbreak was reported in a backyard poultry farm in Michoacan.
  • Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) A(H5N2) outbreaks were identified in Texcoco and Temascalapa in the State of Mexico.

Global Context:

  • Australia: The first human case of A (H5N1) was reported in May, with no human-to-human transmission detected. Multiple H7 HPAI strains were also identified in Victoria.
  • United States: Since 2022, the H5N1 strain has infected millions of birds and a few farmworkers, though no human-to-human transmission has been documented.

Expert Insights:

  • Dr. John Brownstein, Boston Children’s Hospital: Emphasized the importance of monitoring and surveillance of influenza viruses, noting that while H5N2 and H5N1 belong to the same family, H5N1 has a history of human infection, unlike H5N2.

Transmission and Symptoms:

  • Animal to Human: Human infections typically occur through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments.
  • Human Impact: Infections can range from mild to severe respiratory illnesses and can be fatal. Other symptoms include conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal issues, encephalitis, and encephalopathy.

Conclusion:
This first confirmed case of H5N2 in a human highlights the need for vigilance and continued monitoring of influenza viruses in both animals and humans to prevent potential outbreaks and ensure public health safety.

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