Bird Flu Death Sparks Firestorm of Conspiracy Theories

( – The death of a 59-year-old man in Mexico who was infected with a strain of bird flu never seen in humans before has sparked a flood of conspiracy theories on social media and in the news. The man was infected with the influenza A strain H5N2 when he died. Several news outlets and social media posts have neglected to mention that he also suffered from multiple chronic health problems before developing the flu-like symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this was the first instance of this particular strain being found in a human. This strain is normally found in Mexican poultry and has never been known to spread to humans before now. The man that died had not been exposed to poultry and the source of his exposure to the virus is currently unknown.

Conspiracy theories broke out on social media shortly after the news of the man’s death circulated. CEO and founder of Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk posted on X that “Election flu season is officially upon us!” along with a screenshot of a news article announcing the Mexican man’s death.

Joey Mannarino, a conservative podcast host, made a post declaring that he will not vaccinate, wear a mask, or social distance for the bird flu. Toby Rogers, an X user with more than 60,000 followers posted about the man’s chronic health condition and said “They made up the bird flu part.” AJ Huber, a conservative and Donald Trump supporter posted “DO NOT COMPLY!” referencing bird flu vaccines. Kyle Becker, a journalist, posted he believes the WHO is “baselessly fearmongering” to create a global pandemic treaty.

One popular conspiracy theory is that the U.S. government is trying to manufacture another pandemic before the presidential election in November.

The U.S. is currently monitoring the H5N1 strain of the bird flu which has caused the culling of millions of chickens and birds in production houses for several years and has recently spread to dairy cows. Three cases of the virus have been detected in farmworkers, but their symptoms were mild.

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