CHILE: Chile’s health ministry reported on Wednesday that the country had detected the first human case of bird flu. The case was discovered in a 53-year-old male who had severe influenza symptoms, the ministry said in a statement, adding that the patient was in stable condition.
The government is also looking into the source of the outbreak and anyone else who came into contact with the patient. Since late last year, Chile has recorded cases of the H5N1 bird flu in wild animals.
Due to recent cases at industrial farms, the government has stopped poultry exports. Argentina has also reported industrial cases, but Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of poultry, is still unaffected.
Chilean health officials said that people can get the virus from birds or marine mammals, but there is no evidence that people can get it from other people. The Chilean government found a case of bird flu at an industrial site in the southern district of Maule last week.
“This finding was made after a complaint was made to the Maule SAG (agriculture and livestock agency) about an increase in mortality on the farm of around 70 birds and another 60 that were symptomatic of the virus,” said the ministry of agriculture in a statement.
According to the statement, birds that produced eggs at the industrial facility were sacrificed. There were between 4,000 and 5,000 specimens in the centre.
Early this year, Ecuador’s health ministry confirmed its first case of human transmission of bird flu in a 9-year-old girl.
Officials in charge of global health have said that there is a small chance that the bird flu could spread from person to person, but makers of the bird flu vaccine have been making shots for people “just in case.”
Avian influenza, known informally as avian flu, is a bird flu caused by the influenza A virus, which can infect people. It is similar to other types of animal flu in that it is caused by a virus strain that has adapted to a specific host.
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