Mexico man, 59, world's 1st known H5N2 bird flu case, dies

Mexico man, 59, world's 1st known H5N2 bird flu case, dies
Fecha de publicación: 
6 June 2024
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A 59-year-old man in Mexico infected with bird flu has passed away, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Jun. 5, 2024.

A laboratory confirmed the deceased was infected with the H5N2 strain of bird flu, also known as avian influenza.

He was the first person in the world to be infected with H5N2.




Infected with H5N2 strain


The deceased has several underlying health conditions, including chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, Mexico's Health Ministry said, Reuters and The Guardian reported.

He had also been been bedridden for three weeks for other reasons prior to the onset of acute symptoms, WHO said.

He developed a fever, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, nausea and general discomfort before he passed away on Apr. 24.

There had been three poultry outbreaks of H5N2 viruses in poultry in Mexico in March 2024, but the deceased had no history of exposure to poultry or other animals, WHO said.

Mexico's health ministry said the source of infection had not been identified, but so far no evidence of person-to-person transmission has occurred, and all the people who had contact with him have tested negative.

WHO said the current risk of bird flu to the general population is low.


H5N1 strain reported in Australia and the United States


A similar strain of the bird flu, H5N1, was detected in a child travelling from India to Australia in May 2024.

The same H5N1, which scientists say is unrelated to the case in Mexico, was also detected in three dairy farm workers in the United States.

The U.S. government is nearing an agreement to fund a late-stage trial of Moderna's mRNA bird flu vaccine, the Financial Times reported.

Moderna did not confirm the funding with Reuters, but said it is in discussions with the government on advancing its vaccine candidate.

The company said it was testing the experimental shot, mRNA-1018, against several strains of the virus, including the currently circulating H5N1 variant.

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