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Death of Patient with Bird Flu Was Due to Other Conditions

The World Health Organization had reported that the patient had no history of exposure to poultry or other animals.
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For the moment, no further cases have been reported during the epidemiological investigation, which consisted of following up contacts at the hospital where the 59-year-old man died. (Photo: Reuters)

A person whose death in Mexico was reported as the first caused by the H5N2 avian flu worldwide did not actually die from the virus but from “chronic conditions,” Mexican authorities said on Friday, June 7.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Wednesday, June 5, the death of a man from avian flu A (H5N2) detected by a laboratory in Mexico. The Mexican government dismissed the risk of contagion to the population on the same day and stated that no other human cases had been detected so far.

“An expert team from the Health sector determined that the person identified with influenza A (H5N2) did not die from this virus but as a result of chronic conditions that led to septic shock,” Mexico’s Health Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The deceased, detailed the document, was a 59-year-old man, a resident of the State of Mexico, neighboring the capital, who had been suffering from chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, and systemic arterial hypertension for more than 14 years.

“As part of the medical care protocol, samples for respiratory viruses were taken; after analysis in specialized laboratories of the Health Ministry, the influenza A (H5N2) virus was identified,” the statement indicated.

On Wednesday, the WHO reported that the patient died after experiencing fever, respiratory distress, diarrhea, nausea, and general malaise and had no history of exposure to poultry or other animals.

Cases of the H5N2 avian flu subtype have been reported in such birds in Mexico. The Health Ministry reaffirmed that there are no risks to the population and that all tests of contacts related to the case under study have come back negative.

However, it clarified that since the source of the infection has not been identified, the investigation is ongoing. (With information from Reuters)

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