Bird flu alert as fears of human pandemic grow after new case detected | The Sun

CHILE has confirmed it's first case of bird flu in a human, the country's health ministry reported on Wednesday

The 53-year-old man developed severe influenza symptoms but is now stable, according to a Government statement.

The government is also investigating the source of outbreak – which is believed to have come from the northern part of the country – as well as others who were in contact with the patient.

It comes just weeks after 40,000 poultry were culled in central Chile on Wednesday after the country detected its first case of bird flu.

On Monday, health officials in China reported a human bird flu infection – the third case since 2022.

The 56-year-old woman had contact with live poultry before she got sick, according to statement from the local authorities.

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So far, no similar infections have been reported in her contacts.

Earlier this year, an 11-year-old girlfrom Cambodia died after catching the big from infected poultry.

Scientists are calling on the Government to create a new bird flu vaccine before the virus learns to more effectively jump to humans.

Experts fear the bug could mutate making it even more harmful to humans than it currently is.

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Fears have been raised in recent months due to the "unprecedented" current outbreak, that has seen a wide range of mammals – including otters and foxes – infected since October last year.

Last month, the UK Government published Covid-style modelling to predict what might happen if the bug began transmitting from human-to-human.

Under a 'mild scenario' the scientists estimated that one in 400 people who caught bird flu would die.

While bird flu typically affects poultry and wild birds, it can be transmitted to mammals, including humans.

The H5N1 strain already has a fatality rate of around 50 per cent among people. 

Only 870 people have been infected with bird flu in the past 20 years – and 457 of these died.

Bird flu has only ever been found in one person in Britain, when Alan Gosling, 79, a retired engineer in Devon, caught it from ducks in his home in December 2021.

What are the symptoms of bird flu in humans?

The main symptoms of bird flu can appear very quickly and include:

  • a very high temperature or feeling hot or shivery
  • aching muscles
  • headache
  • a cough or shortness of breath

Other early symptoms may include:

  • diarrhoea
  • sickness
  • stomach pain
  • chest pain
  • bleeding from the nose and gums
  • conjunctivitis

Source: The NHS

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