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Mexico confirms its first human infection with H5N2 bird flu.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a 59-year-old man from Mexico has become the first verified human case of H5N2 avian influenza. The man, who had several underlying health issues, died as a result of a combination of causes.

Patient Background and Symptoms

As per Mexico’s health ministry, the guy suffered from chronic renal illness, type 2 diabetes, and long-standing systemic arterial hypertension. On April 17, after being bedridden for three weeks, he had acute symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, and general malaise. He was admitted to a hospital in Mexico City on April 24 and died later that day.

Cause of Death

According to WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier, the man’s death was caused by a variety of factors, not only the H5N2 virus. “The patient arrived at the hospital after weeks with a multifactorial backdrop of various ailments,” Lindmeier explained. Postmortem testing showed the presence of H5N2.

Investigation and Contacts

Health officials identified and tested 17 hospital contacts and 12 close contacts at the man’s home; all tested negative for influenza. Ongoing studies are establishing if the guy became sick through animal contact or human transmission.

Risk Assessment

The WHO assesses the current risk to the general population from H5N2 as low. The virus has been found in poultry in Mexico, but human-to-human transmission remains unlikely.

Food Safety

Markus Lipp, senior food safety officer at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), emphasized that the risk of contracting avian influenza through consuming poultry is “negligibly low.” He clarified that avian influenza transmission through food has not been documented in over a century of monitoring.

H5N1 Spread

Meanwhile, another bird flu variant, H5N1, has been spreading among dairy cow herds in the United States, with a few human cases reported. These cases have not involved human-to-human transmission, instead jumping from cattle to humans. Since 2020, H5N1 has caused extensive outbreaks among birds and mammals, leading to millions of poultry deaths. Human cases have been largely mild.

Child in West Bengal Tests Positive for H9N2 Bird Flu Virus

A child in West Bengal has been confirmed to have been infected with the H9N2 avian flu virus. The four-year-old was admitted to the hospital in February with severe respiratory problems, high fever, and stomach issues. After three months of treatment, the patient was discharged.


The World Health Organization reported that the child had been in contact with chickens at home and in the neighborhood. It’s noteworthy that no family members or close contacts showed any symptoms of respiratory illness.

Source: Inputs from various media Sources 

the aartery chronicles

Priya Bairagi

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