Bird flu virus's H5N2 strain claims first human life in Mexico, WHO confirms

Bird flu virus's new strain is different from H5N1 strain that caused outbreak among livestock in US

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Web Desk
Never-before-seen bird flu virus strain claims man's life in Mexico. — AFP/File

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday confirmed that a man in Mexico died from a strain of bird flu, known as H5N2, The Hill reported.

According to the WHO, a 59-year-old man from Mexico had died on April 24, the same day he was hospitalised in Mexico City. 

A week before his death, the man had developed symptoms including fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea and general malaise.

The man's releatives told the WHO that he previously had "multiple underlying medical conditions," and that he had been bedridden for three weeks before the onset of acute symptoms. 

He died from "complications of his condition".

The WHO said he had no prior exposure to poultry or other animals, and the source of exposure to the virus was still unknown.

According to the WHO, this is the first recorded death that was caused by a bird flu strain that previously has not been reported in humans.

The strain is different from the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, which has recently caused an outbreak among livestock in the United States and has infected three dairy farm workers.

The WHO said that the current risk of the virus to the general population is "low."

Mexico has seen other cases of H5N2 among its poultry, but the WHO said it has not been able to establish a connection to the human case.