The first H5N2 human patient died from a variety of causes, not from the virus itself: WHO


The first H5N2 human patient died from a variety of causes, not from the virus itself: WHO

The first confirmed instance of the H5N2 bird flu strain in humans, a man, passed away on Friday from a number of factors, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO added that more inquiries were being conducted.

The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday that Mexico has recorded the first human case of H5N2 avian influenza virus infection that had been confirmed in a laboratory.

According to Mexico’s health ministry, the 59-year-old man had “a history of chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, and long-standing systemic arterial hypertension.”

The first H5N2 human patient died from a variety of causes, not from the virus itself: WHO
H5N1 first emerged in 1996 but since 2020, the number of outbreaks in birds has grown exponentially, alongside an increase in the number of infected mammals

He had been bedridden for three weeks prior to the onset of severe symptoms on April 17. These symptoms included fever, dyspnea, diarrhea, nausea, and general malaise.

The man passed away on April 24 after being admitted to a Mexico City hospital.

The mortality is a multi-factorial death, not one that can be linked to H5N2, Christian Lindmeier, a spokesman for the WHO, told reporters in Geneva on Friday.

“The patient arrived at the hospital following several weeks of a complex history of multiple illnesses,” he stated.

After that, Lindmeier claimed, his body was frequently examined for the flu and other viruses. H5N2 was found.

There were seventeen contacts related to the hospital case. Everyone’s influenza test results were negative.

Twelve contacts in the weeks prior were found at the man’s apartment. They all also tested negative.

“We’re still looking into it. Serology is still going on. In order to determine if there was a potential prior infection, contacts’ blood must be tested, according to Lindmeier.

“The H5N2 infection is being examined to determine if he previously came into contact with any animals or was infected by someone else.”

The WHO stated on Wednesday that although H5N2 viruses had been found in poultry in Mexico, the source of the virus’s exposure was unknown.

The United Nations health organization rates the virus’s present danger to the general public as minimal based on the information that is currently available.

According to Markus Lipp, senior food safety official at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, eating poultry carries a “negligibly low” risk of avian influenza.

“In the entire century of avian influenza… there hasn’t been any confirmed food-borne transmission,” he said, addressing the media over video conference from the FAO’s Rome headquarters.

Naturally, those who work closely with animals—animal handlers—run the danger of contracting an infection, but this is a known occupational hazard. He declared, “It’s not a food-borne transmission.”

As far as we know, humans do not have avian influenza receptors in their digestive tract, in contrast to several animal species. Thus, from that angle alone, the possibility is extremely remote.

According to Lipp, “avian influenza is probably the lowest risk” associated with eating poultry among all the food safety concerns.

H5N1, a distinct strain of bird flu, has been circulating in dairy cow herds in the US for several weeks, with a few human cases documented.

However, according to experts, none of them are infections from humans to humans; instead, the disease spreads from cattle to humans.

H5N1 originally appeared in 1996, but since 2020, the number of avian outbreaks and infected mammal cases have increased dramatically.

Tens of millions of chickens have died as a result of the strain, which has also infected wild birds and land and marine mammals.

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