Home News First human death from new bird flu strain confirmed in Mexico

First human death from new bird flu strain confirmed in Mexico

A Mexican man has died from a strain of bird flu never seen before in humans, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday.

The unidentified 59-year-old man succumbed to the H5N2 strain on April 24 at a hospital in Mexico City, according to the WHO.

“This is the first laboratory-confirmed human case of infection with an influenza A(H5N2) virus reported globally,” the WHO said in its description of the case.

H5N2 is different from H5N1, which has spread globally before and infected three American farm workers so far this year. None of this year’s U.S. infections has been deadly.

It remains unclear how the Mexican man was infected by the H5N2 strain. Though the virus has been recorded in poultry in Mexico, the man had no history of exposure to poultry or other animals, according to the WHO.

He was however suffering from other conditions, including chronic kidney failure, diabetes and high blood pressure, Mexican health authorities said. The man first reported falling ill on April 17 and was hospitalized on April 24, the same day he died.

Though H5N2 had never been recorded in humans before, various strains of bird flu have killed people across the world in the past two decades. In 2021, 18 people in China died from the H5N6 strain.

However, the WHO said there is low risk of the disease spreading in Mexico. In March, three outbreaks of the H5N2 strain affected various birds in the country, but health officials have been unable to connect those outbreaks with the man’s death.

Meanwhile, the H5N1 strains that infected Americans earlier this year were traced to cattle. The virus has been detected in 70 herds across the country.

With News Wire Services


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