Chile confirms first human case of bird flu in 53-year-old man with severe influenza symptoms
The first human case of bird flu has been discovered in Chile, the nation's health ministry announced on Wednesday.
According to a statement released by the ministry, the case was found in a 53-year-old man who had severe influenza symptoms but was otherwise stable, reported Reuters.
The government is also looking into how the infection spread and who else came into contact with the patient.
Since late last year, Chile has only documented cases of the H5N1 bird flu in wild animals.
Last week, Chilean authorities reported a bird flu outbreak at an industrial facility in the Maule region in the southern part of the country, reported Reuters.
"This finding was made after a complaint made to the Maule SAG (agriculture and livestock agency) about an increase in mortality on the farm of around 70 birds and another 60 that were symptomatic of the virus," the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement.
The government halted poultry exports due to recent incidents in industrial farms. Although Brazil, the world's top exporter of chicken, has not been infected, industrial cases have been found in Argentina as well.
At least 14 Latin American nations have reported outbreaks of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus.
Early this year, a 9-year-old girl in Ecuador became the first to be detected with bird flu. Irrespective low likelihood of human-to-human transmission, according to international health officials, human bird flu vaccines have been developed "just in case."