As per Reuters, the health ministry of Chile announced on Wednesday that it had discovered the first human case of bird flu.
The case was identified in a 53-year-old man with severe flu symptoms, according to a ministry statement, but the patient’s condition was stable.
In addition to investigating the patient’s contacts, the government is also investigating the source of the disease.
Since late last year, Chilean wild animals have been diagnosed with H5N1 bird flu.
The government halted poultry exports due to recent outbreaks on industrial farms. Argentina has also reported industrial cases, but the largest exporter of poultry in the world, Brazil, remains free of the disease.
According to Chilean health authorities, the virus can be transmitted from birds or marine mammals to humans, but there is no known human-to-human transmission.
In January of this year, a 9-year-old girl was identified as the country’s first case of human-to-human transmission of bird flu. The risk of human-to-human transmission is low, according to global health officials, but “just in case,” vaccines against bird flu have been prepared.