Sunday, December 4

The WHO confirms the first two cases of bird flu in humans in Spain

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that two people were infected with bird flu in September and October after an outbreak of this disease on a farm in the Spanish province of Guadalajara, which is the first cases detected in Spain.

Until now, only one case of this disease, which can be fatal, had been detected on the European continent (in the United Kingdom in 2021), while worldwide since 2003, 868 infections in humans were confirmed, with 456 deaths.

The two cases were detected in workers on a farm where an outbreak of influenza in birds was confirmed on September 20, after which control and prevention measures were taken, the WHO said in a statement.

The Spanish Ministry of Health first confirmed the presence of the H5N1 bird flu virus in a 19-year-old employee on September 27, and later in another 27-year-old worker on October 13 who participated in the control and cleaning measures. Both recovered and were negative in subsequent tests, the WHO has clarified.

In its assessment of the outbreak, the organization has indicated that it is not necessary to take preventive measures on trips to or from Spain, nor do health controls at airports.

It has also clarified that despite the cases detected there is no evidence of transmission between humans (the disease is typically spread from birds to people).

The organization has recalled that the disease can have different effects on those infected: some have no symptoms and others may simply suffer from infections in the upper respiratory tract (cough, fever) but if the infection progresses it can degenerate into pneumonia, serious respiratory problems or even death.