Media release – Human case of bird flu in Victoria

A statement by the Head of the interim Australian Centre for Disease Control Professor Paul Kelly.

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A human case of avian influenza – A(H5N1) infection – also known as bird flu, has been reported in Victoria. This is the first human case ever recorded in Australia.

A child acquired the infection while overseas and became unwell on returning to Australia earlier this year. The case was confirmed by the Victorian Department of Health on 18 May 2024.

The child has now made a full recovery and no family members in Australia or overseas have reported

Importantly, the case in Victoria is not the same as the strains that have recently been found in dairy cattle in the United States of America. It is also not the same strain that has been detected at a poultry farm in Victoria.

Bird flu does not easily infect humans and there is no ongoing public health risk from this case.

Australia’s interim Centre for Disease Control (CDC) is monitoring the risks to the Australian public.

The CDC is liaising closely with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry, which is the lead agency responsible for monitoring the threat posed to Australia by the global spread of A(H5N1) in animal and bird populations.

Further information about bird flu is available on the CDC’s website and the Victoria Department of Health website.

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