The Chilean Health Ministry on Wednesday said that the country has identified its first case of bird flu in a human.
According to a statement released by the Chilean ministry, the patient, a 53-year-old man, exhibited severe flu symptoms, but his condition is now stable.
The source of the contagion is being investigated by the government, which is also tracing individuals who may have come into contact with the patient. Chile has previously reported cases of H5N1 bird flu in wild animals since late last year, and recent cases in industrial farms have resulted in the country suspending its poultry exports.
Industrial cases have also been identified in Argentina, the world’s largest poultry exporter, Brazil, has not yet reported any incidents of bird flu.
Health officials in Chile have advised that the virus can be transmitted from birds or marine mammals to humans, but there is no known human-to-human transmission.
Earlier this year, Ecuador confirmed its first case of human transmission of bird flu in a 9-year-old girl. Although the risk of transmission between humans is low, vaccine manufacturers have been preparing bird flu shots for humans as a precautionary measure.