First Human Case Kills Man

( – Marking the first time ever that a case has been found in humans, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that a strain of bird flu called H5N2 killed a man in Mexico.

The WHO informed that it is unclear how the person got infected.

“Although the source of exposure to the virus in this case is currently unknown, A(H5N2) viruses have been reported in poultry in Mexico,” the organization said in a statement.

Scientists are watching for any changes in the virus that could indicate bird flu is adapting to spread more easily among humans. However, the UN agency stated that the current risk of the bird flu virus to the general population in Mexico is low.

The 59-year-old man, who had been hospitalized in Mexico City, died in April this year after developing a fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, and general discomfort.

Moreover, Mexico’s Health Ministry added that there has been no evidence of person-to-person transmission of bird flu in this case and that the man had several prior health conditions. All people who had contact with him have tested negative.

In March, Mexico’s government reported an outbreak of A(H5N2) in an isolated family unit in the country’s western Michoacan state but said it did not pose a risk to distant commercial farms or human health.

In addition, three poultry outbreaks of H5N2 occurred in nearby parts of Mexico in March, but authorities have been unable to find a connection.

Scientists said the case in Mexico is unrelated to the outbreak of a different strain of bird flu—H5N1—in the United States, which has infected three dairy farm workers so far.

According to a timeline of bird flu outbreaks from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other bird flu varieties have killed people worldwide in previous years, including 18 people in China during an outbreak of H5N6 in 2021.

Andrew Pekosz, an influenza expert at Johns Hopkins University, said that since 1997, H5 viruses have continuously shown a tendency to infect mammals more than any other avian influenza virus.

Likewise, cases of bird flu have now been identified in mammals such as seals, raccoons, bears, and cattle, primarily due to contact with infected birds.

Copyright 2024,