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First human bird flu case in Australia

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The bird flu virus H5N1 has killed billions of domestic and wild birds worldwide since the outbreak in 2020. A child in Australia has also been diagnosed with the infection, but has recovered, according to the authorities there. Illustration photo: Frank May / NTB

Of NTB | 22.05.2024 13:41:05

Medicine and health: – This is the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic bird flu in a human in Australia, says Claire Looker, who is head of the health authority in the state of Victoria, where the case was detected.

– The child had a serious infection, but is no longer ill and has fully recovered, she emphasizes.

So far, no more cases of infection among humans have been detected. Health authorities in Victoria do not think it is likely either, as the virus is not easily spread between people.

The confirmed case of bird flu in Victoria is of the H5N1 virus type, but the type is not the same as that which has spread in the US, says Looker.

A farm worker in the US state of Texas tested positive for the virus earlier this year when it spread to US cattle.

Oceania is the only continent in the world where mammals have so far not been infected by the H5N1 bird flu virus. But Australian authorities warned on Wednesday that another type of the highly pathogenic bird flu has been detected at an egg producer near Melbourne.

The bird flu virus H5N1 has killed billions of domestic and wild birds worldwide since its outbreak in 2020, as well as spreading to several mammals. Bird flu has also killed several wild birds in Norway.

(© NTB)

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