The World Health Organisation issued an urgent warning after a man was found to have contracted a deadly type of swine flu – and said it could have the ‘potential for high public health impact’
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an urgent warning after a man contracted a potentially deadly form of swine flu.
WHO officials confirmed the case on January 29, which was labelled as an “outbreak”. It was also claimed that that the case could have the “potential for high public health impact”.
This is the third person to contract swine-origin influenza A, also known as swine flu, since 2008. A WHO spokesman said: “WHO continues to stress the importance of global surveillance to detect virological, epidemiological and clinical changes associated with circulating influenza viruses that may affect human (or animal) health and timely virus sharing for risk assessment.
“Most human cases with influenza A(H1N1)v virus infection result from exposure to swine influenza viruses through direct or indirect contact with infected swine or contaminated environments. However, some cases have been reported without an apparent source of exposure to swine in the weeks prior to illness onset.”
“Because these viruses continue to be detected in swine populations worldwide, further human cases following direct or indirect contact with infected swine can be expected. Swine variant cases have been reported in recent years from many countries, including in Europe.”
The man who caught the virus in Lleida, started showing signs including fever, malaise and a cough on November 25, 2023. He sought medical assistance four days later, visiting the doctors two more times eventually being diagnosed with bronchitis. Later tests at the National Surveillance Network Lab confirmed he had swine flu, reports the Daily Star.
His sample was taken to London for further testing after it was isolated. Despite the potential severity of the virus in humans, the man recovered fully nearly two months later. The WHO has now advised travellers visiting countries with “known outbreaks of animal influenza” should stay clear of farms, live animal markets, areas where animals could be slaughtered, or any surfaces possibly contaminated with animal poo.