Australia’s First Human Bird Flu Case: Symptoms to Precautions, All You Need to Know About H5N1

Australia has reported its first human case of bird flu (H5N1) in a child. Here’s everything you need to know about bird flu, from symptoms to precautions.

Australia’s first human case of bird flu: From symptoms to precautions, everything you need to know about H5N1 (Freepik)

For the first time, bird flu H5N1 One human case has been reported in Victoria, Australia. According to Australian health authorities, a child had contracted the virus and may have reportedly contracted it while in India in March 2024. However, officials also ruled out the possibility of further community spread.

“The boy experienced a serious infection but is no longer unwell and has made a full recovery,” Dr Clare Looker, Victoria’s chief health officer, said in a statement, quoted by IANS. “There is no evidence of transmission in Victoria and the possibility of additional human cases is very low as bird flu does not spread easily between people,” Dr Looker added.

The report comes amid a global H5N1 outbreak, including in India, that has killed millions of wild birds and thousands of mammals. In 2023, the H5N1 virus killed a record number of birds and also spread to otters, sea lions, foxes, dolphins and seals, among others. More recently, it affected numerous livestock farms across the United States, and fragments of the virus were found in pasteurized milk sold in stores.

Can H5N1 be transmitted through humans?

A Texas man, in contact with dairy cows, would have contracted the virus. While the H5N1 virus has so far not caused any human-to-human transmission, the spread of the virus to dairy cattle has raised “enormous concern,” according to the world. the Health Organization recently said.

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Symptoms of H5N1 bird flu:

H5N1 infection usually causes fever, cough, headache, muscle pain, breathing problems, conjunctivitis, and gastrointestinal problems. The infection can progress rapidly to severe respiratory disease and neurological changes.

Preventive tips

  1. Wash hands after contact with a contaminated surface.
  2. Wear a mask when handling birds.
  3. Countries should raise public awareness
  4. Avoid contact with high-risk environments, such as live animal markets/farms, live poultry, or
  5. Be vigilant and avoid surfaces that may be contaminated with birds or bird feces.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), bird flu was first detected in 1997 and has claimed the lives of nearly 60 percent of those affected. In early April 2024, there were reports of penguin deaths caused by bird flu in Antarctica.

So far, there are no reports of human-to-human transmission for H5N1. But it is important to take all necessary precautions and stay away from any type of infection or virus.

(With IANS inputs)



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