Human Case of Bird Flu in Australia Was Sent to the WHO for Detection

Influenza A samples were sent to the WHO for 'further characterisation' as part of a batch.

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Australia’s first bird flu H5N1 was sent to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for further characterisation before it was formally identified. The revelation comes after an Avian Influenza A (H5N1) case was identified in a two-and-a-half-year-old child who had travelled to India. A nasopharyngeal swab and endotracheal aspirate taken on March 6 and 7 tested positive for influenza A at a referral hospital in Melbourne, Victoria, which was then sent to the WHO.

Further, the WHO explained a virus genetic sequence obtained from the samples confirmed the subtype A(H5N1) and indicated that the haemagglutinin (HA) gene belonged to clade 2.3.2.



1a. According to the WHO, this monitoring team is meeting regularly, the frequency of which will be “reassessed as required.” “Currently the MIT is meeting weekly, to assess any ongoing risk of the overall highly pathogenic avian influenza situation in Australia associated with the confirmed case of H5N1 in Victoria and the current international HPAI outbreaks,” the statement said.

A National Incident Centre within the department has been activated to “coordinate the response” to bird flu. Bird flu is caused by a variety of influenza type A viruses that usually infect birds, according to Murdoch University Professor of Viral Immunology Cassandra Berry. Ms.

Berry said some of these influenza types are highly pathogenic, known as high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI), while others are low. The department advised at the time the .