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First Human Death from H5N2 Bird Flu Virus in Mexico Confirmed: WHO


On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that a man in Mexico succumbed to a strain of bird flu, H5N2, previously undocumented in humans. This strain differs from the H5N1 strain, which has caused livestock outbreaks in the U.S. and infected three dairy farm workers. The WHO stated that the current risk of the virus to the general population is “low.”

The deceased, a 59-year-old man from the State of Mexico, passed away on April 24, the same day he was admitted to a hospital in Mexico City. According to the WHO, he had exhibited symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, and general malaise since April 17. Relatives informed the WHO that the man had “multiple underlying medical conditions” and had been bedridden for three weeks prior to the onset of acute symptoms. His death was attributed to “complications of his condition.”

The WHO noted that the man had no prior contact with poultry or other animals, and the source of his exposure to the virus remains unknown. Although Mexico has reported other cases of H5N2 among its poultry, the WHO has been unable to establish a link to the human case.

The United States is contending with a bird flu outbreak, causing concern among poultry producers and public health officials. The outbreak primarily involves the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, which poses significant risks to poultry populations. Several states, including Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska, have reported cases, leading to the culling of millions of birds to prevent further spread. The outbreak has prompted increased surveillance and biosecurity measures in affected areas, while officials work to contain the virus and minimize its impact on both animal and human health.

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