Australia Detects First Case of H5N1 Bird Flu in Humans

ENTRE News – Australia reported its first human case of bird flu on Wednesday (22/5). The case was detected in a child who authorities said had been infected in India but claimed to have fully recovered.

“This is the first confirmed human case of highly pathogenic bird flu in Australia,” Victoria State’s Chief Health Officer, Doctor Claire Looker, said in a statement FOR4D.

“The child had a severe infection but is no longer sick and has fully recovered,” he added.

The bird flu case in Victoria involved the H5N1 virus, but this type of virus is not the same as the virus that caused the outbreak in the United States, Looker said. The H5N1 strain of bird flu has spread throughout the world in recent years and killed billions of farmed and wild birds. This disease has even spread to dozens of other mammal species.

Meanwhile, so far, Australia is the only continent that is still free from the spread of bird flu. However, this week, authorities said they had detected a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu at an egg farm near Melbourne FOR4D.

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Graeme Cooke said first laboratory tests showed the virus was a yet-to-be-identified strain of H7 and likely came from wild bird populations. As a result of this discovery, Cooke said health authorities were implementing restrictions on movement around the farm and the birds would be culled.

“This area does have a high density of poultry businesses, both egg-laying and meat poultry,” Cooke told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio as quoted by Reuters FOR4D.

“At this stage we cannot say whether there will be any spread to other properties. We are now taking the necessary measures to eradicate it to eliminate any further spread.”

However, Cooke ensured that this outbreak did not pose a risk to human health.

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