Bird flu has been detected in a human in Chile, the country’s health ministry reported on Wednesday. The patient, a 53-year-old man, had severe influenza symptoms and tested positive for the virus.
According to the ministry, the man is in stable condition and receiving treatment at a hospital in northern Chile. Epidemiological teams have been sent to investigate the infection’s source and identify individuals who were in contact with the patient.
The H5N1 bird flu has been reported in wild animals in Chile since late last year. Cases of the virus in industrial bird farms caused the government to stop meat exports.
Birds and marine mammals can transmit the virus to humans, but so far, there is no reported case of human-to-human transmission. Vaccine makers have been preparing bird flu shots for humans in case of an outbreak.