First confirmed human bird flu case did not die from it

by Admin
First confirmed human bird flu case did not die from it

The World Health Organization said Friday the first confirmed human infection with H5N2 bird flu, a man who died in April, suffered from multiple ailments and his death was not directly attributable to bird flu.

At a Geneva news conference Friday, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters an investigation is ongoing, including blood testing of the man’s contacts to determine if there was any possible earlier infection. But he confirmed, “The death is a multi-factorial death, not a death attributable to H5N2.”

The WHO announced Wednesday the 59-year-old Mexican man was the first laboratory-confirmed human case of infection with H5N2 avian influenza virus.

In a statement, the agency said Mexican health officials first reported the case to the WHO May 23 when it was detected in the man after he was hospitalized in Mexico City.

He had multiple underlying medical conditions and his relatives reported that the man had already been bedridden for three weeks for other reasons, and had no history of exposure to poultry or other animals.

On April 24, the man was once again hospitalized with multiple symptoms and died the same day due to complications of his condition.

Tests confirmed the man had contracted H5N2 influenza, the WHO said in May, stating that the risk to people in Mexico is low, and that no further human cases have been discovered. Of the man’s 17 contacts identified and monitored at the hospital where he died, none contracted the illness.

Scientists said the case is unrelated to the outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in the United States that has infected three dairy farm workers.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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