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H5N2 Avian Influenza: World’s First Fatal Case Confirmed in Mexico

H5N2 Avian Influenza

WHO: World’s first confirmed death of human infection with H5N2 avian influenza occurs in Mexico

A person in Mexico has died from the H5N2 strain of bird flu, the first confirmed human death from this virus globally. The individual had no known exposure to poultry or animals and had underlying health issues. The source of exposure is unclear, but cases of H5N2 have been reported in Mexico’s poultry industry.

The World Health Organization considers the risk to humans low, and there is no proven link between human cases and poultry infections. Additionally, a rare disease has been transmitted from dairy cows to humans in the United States, with no human-to-human transmission reported.

Key Concepts

  • First confirmed human death from H5N2 bird flu strain in Mexico.
  • Patient had no known exposure to poultry or animals.
  • Source of exposure unknown, but cases reported in Mexico’s poultry industry.
  • World Health Organization assesses risk to humans as low.
  • No link established between human cases and poultry infections.
  • H5N1 strain of avian influenza circulating among dairy cows in the United States.
  • Rare disease transmission from cattle to humans reported, no human-to-human transmission identified.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday (June 5) that a person died from avian influenza in Mexico, the world’s first confirmed fatal case of human infection with the H5N2 strain.

The WHO said the patient died on April 24 after experiencing fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and nausea. He had “no history of contact with poultry or other animals” and had “multiple underlying diseases.”

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Mexican health authorities reported the confirmed human case of avian influenza to the United Nations agency WHO on May 23 after a 59-year-old patient was admitted to a Mexico City hospital.

The WHO said this was “the first laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with a type of influenza A (H5N2) reported globally.”

The WHO said the source of exposure is unknown, but H5N2 cases have been reported in Mexico’s poultry industry.

According to WHO, H5N2 cases affected the poultry industry in Michoacan state in March, and outbreaks have also been detected in the state of Mexico.

But the WHO said that so far no link could be established between the human case and the poultry infection, and the agency assessed the risk to humans as “low.”

Another strain of avian flu, H5N1, has been spreading among U.S. dairy cows for weeks, with only a handful of human infections.

But authorities say none of the cases were transmitted from person to person, but from cattle to humans.

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