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2-Yr-Old Aussie Girl Positive for H5N1 Bird Flu: WHO

Geneva: A two-and-a-half-year-old girl has tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu and required intensive care treatment in Australia after returning from a trip to India, according to a statement from the World Health Organization released on Friday. This marks the first confirmed human infection of the avian influenza A(H5N1) virus reported in Australia," the WHO stated.

The source of the virus exposure in this case remains unknown, but it is believed to have occurred during the girl's time in India, where the virus has been previously detected in birds, the UN health agency added.The overall risk to the public from this virus is currently assessed as low. The girl traveled to Kolkata from February 12 to 29 and did not have any known contact with sick individuals or animals during her stay in the city.

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Upon her return to Australia on March 1, she was admitted to a hospital in the southeastern state of Victoria the following day.Due to worsening symptoms, she was transferred to an intensive care unit in Melbourne on March 4, where she remained for one week before being discharged from the hospital after two and a half weeks.

While in the hospital, the girl tested positive for influenza A. Samples taken in April confirmed the presence of the A(H5N1) subtype, which is known to circulate in Southeast Asia and has previously caused human infections and poultry outbreaks.Fortunately, the girl is reported to be in good health, and no symptoms have been observed in any of her relatives in Australia or India.The Indian authorities have been informed of the case and have initiated an epidemiological investigation, the WHO stated

June 8, 2024 10:54 a.m. 423

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