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Australian patient with bird flu (H5N1) traveled to India, says WHO

The World Health Organization said on Friday (7) that the child with H5N1 bird flu reported by Australia last month had traveled to Calcutta, India. The organization reported that the family said they had no known exposure to infected people or animals while there.

According to the WHO, the child traveled to Calcutta from February 12th to 19th and returned to Australia on March 1st. A day later, on March 2, the child was admitted and remained in the hospital for more than two weeks.

This is the first case of H5N1 in a person in Australia.

No close household contacts in Australia or India had developed symptoms as of May 22, the WHO said.

The entity also reported that genetic sequencing showed that the virus was of the H5N1 subtype and part of a strain circulating in Southeast Asia, which had already been detected in previous human infections and in birds.

Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said an investigation needs to be done to see if the child has been in contact with poultry or other birds, or if there has been an outbreak of this version of H5N1 nearby. The scientist acknowledged that it is difficult to carry out this analysis months after infection.

“H5N1 viruses do not transmit efficiently between humans and I suspect there is a hidden exposure of animals that led to the infection,” Adalja said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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