Jakarta (ANTARA) - The risk of avian influenza or H5N1 infection in humans is still categorized as low, head of the public communication and services bureau of the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said here on Tuesday.

"There has not been any human-to-human transmission incident. It only occurs toward ducks," she confirmed.

Avian influenza is a communicable disease in poultry and is caused by the type A influenza virus, which is known to infect a variety of animal species, including pigs, horses, sea mammals, and humans.

"The H5N1 virus is categorized as a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)," she informed.

"Since 2020 to this day, there have been six human Influenza A (H5N1) cases, which have been included in clade reported to the WHO (World Health Organization),” she added.

One death from the infection was reported in China, while one patient with severe symptoms recovered in Vietnam.

Then, two cases were reported in Spain while England and North Ireland recorded one case each, and the United States registered one case.

"The cases from Europe and the United States have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic," she said.

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She highlighted that there has been an increase in infection transmission from wild birds to several mammal species in various countries in Europe and North America.

"This may come as a result of the high virus prevalence among the poultry population in the region," she explained.

All cases of poultry infection through direct contact in 2023 have been reported to be H5N1, including one death in Cambodia based on a report received by the Health Ministry from local authorities in February 2023.

In addition, one H5N1-positive case has been recorded in Ecuador, as reported on the website WHO Outbreak News in January 2023.

"In 2022, in Indonesia, there has been a H5N1 HPAI case in waterfowl or livestock that had not been vaccinated in South Kalimantan," Tarmizi informed.

Evidence of avian influenza mutation related to an adaptation in mammals and humans is still very limited, she said.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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