H5N2 Bird Flu Victim Dies from Multiple Factors in Mexico: WHO

Mexico City, Mexico – The World Health Organization confirmed the first human infection of the H5N2 bird flu strain resulting in the death of a 59-year-old man. The WHO stated that the man had a history of chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, and systemic arterial hypertension.

According to WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier, the man had been bedridden for three weeks before developing acute symptoms, including fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, and malaise. He was admitted to a hospital in Mexico City on April 24 and passed away later that day.

Despite testing positive for H5N2, Lindmeier emphasized that the man’s death was due to various factors and not solely attributable to the virus. The WHO is currently investigating the source of exposure to the virus, as well as the possibility of earlier infections among the man’s contacts.

The United Nations’ health agency assessed the risk of the H5N2 virus to the general population as low. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s senior food safety officer, Markus Lipp, stated that the risk of contracting avian influenza through consuming poultry was extremely low, with no documented cases of foodborne transmission.

In contrast, a different variant of bird flu, H5N1, has been spreading among dairy cow herds in the United States. While a small number of cases have been reported in humans, authorities have clarified that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Since its emergence in 1996, H5N1 has caused outbreaks in birds worldwide, resulting in the deaths of millions of poultry. The strain has also infected wild birds, land, and marine mammals. Human cases recorded in Europe and the United States have been predominantly mild.

As investigations continue into the H5N2 case in Mexico City, health officials are focused on understanding the transmission of the virus and preventing further infections. The WHO remains vigilant in monitoring the situation and providing updates as necessary.