WHO announces first human infection of H5N2 avian flu

The World Health Organization has announced the world's first case of human infection with the H5N2 avian influenza virus.

The UN health agency said on Wednesday that a 59-year-old resident of Mexico was hospitalized and died in April, after developing symptoms that included fever and shortness of breath.

The WHO said Mexican health authorities carried out a detailed analysis of samples from the patient, and confirmed the H5N2 subtype.

It says the H5N2 virus has never been found in a human before.

The deceased patient reportedly had multiple underlying conditions.

The WHO said no further cases of human infection with the H5N2 subtype have been reported, and it assesses that the current risk to the general population is low.

The source of exposure to the virus in the dead person's case is said to be currently unknown. Health authorities in Mexico are continuing their investigation.

WHO figures show more than 800 cases of human infections with another subtype of bird flu, H5N1, have been confirmed since 2003, mainly in Asia and Africa. More than 460 of them reportedly died.