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U.S. reports its first human case of H5 bird flu

  • Published
    30th Apr, 2022

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently said that the first known human case of H5 bird flu in the United States has appeared in a person in Colorado.


About H5 Bird Flu:

  • This is the second human case associated with this specific group of H5 viruses that are currently predominant, and the first case in the United States.
  • The first case internationally occurred in December 2021 in the United Kingdom in a person who did not have any symptoms and who raised birds that became infected with H5N1 virus.
  • More than 880 human infections with earlier H5N1 viruses have been reported since 2003 worldwide.
  • However, the predominant H5N1 viruses now circulating among birds globally are different from earlier H5N1 viruses.

Avian influenza:

  • Bird flu or avian influenza is a disease which is caused by avian influenza Type A virusesfound naturally in the wild birds worldwide.
  • The virus can infect domestic poultry which includes chickens, ducks and turkeys.
  • Avian Influenza type A viruseswhich are classified based on two proteins on their surfaces:
  • Hemagglutinin(HA)
  • Neuraminidase(NA)
  • There are about 18 HA subtypes and 11 NA subtypes.
  • Several combinations of these two proteins are also possible e.g., H5N1, H7N2, H9N6, H17N10, etc.
  • The virus was first detected in geese in China in 1996.
  • Symptoms of avian influenza: Fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting Severe respiratory illness (respiratory distress, viral pneumonia, respiratory failure), Neurologic changes (altered mental status, seizures).
  • Risk groups: Children and adults below 40 are seen to be the most affected and mortality was high in 10-19 years old.
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