First human case of bird flu detected in Australia… 4 more cats die in USA…

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A child has been confirmed as the first case of H5N1 bird flu in Australia.

The child contracted the avian influenza A infection while in India and fell ill in March this year, according to Victorian health officials.

The announcement came hours after bird flu was detected on a farm in Victoria.

“Contact tracing has not identified any further cases of avian influenza connected to this case,” Victoria Health said in a statement.

The child reportedly suffered a severe infection but has since recovered.

Officials explained that the avian influenza virus was identified through additional testing of positive influenza samples, part of Victoria’s enhanced surveillance system designed to detect novel or concerning flu virus strains.

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Health officials emphasised that most people are not at risk from the virus unless they have contact with infected birds, animals, or their secretions in affected areas.

“The avian influenza virus was detected through further testing of positive influenza samples that takes place to detect novel or concerning flu virus strains, as part of Victoria’s enhanced surveillance system,” officials said.

Four more cats have died of H5N1 bird flu in the United States, including two pets in South Dakota with no links to poultry or dairy cows, according to state and federal officials. At least 14 cats have recently died of bird flu.

Of the newly reported cases, two were domestic cats which died at a property in Campbell County in South Dakota, according to a state official and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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Beth Thompson, the state’s veterinarian, said there was no livestock on the property where the pets died. “No other details regarding how the cats were infected are known at this time,” Thompson told BNO News.

Two other cases were recently reported in Michigan, one in Isabella County and the other in Ionia County. Both cases involved barn cats on commercial dairy farms where cows were also infected with H5N1.

At the property in Ionia County, two Virginia opossums were also infected with the bird flu virus.

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