Sixth Avian Influenza Case Confirmed in China
Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced today it is closely monitoring five human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the China Mainland. Two men from different cities in Sichuan province died from their infections.
An earlier case in 2022 involved a 43-year-old woman living in Huizhou in Guangdong Province.
Since 2014, China has reported 63 human cases, but the country reported a sharp rise in cases (36) last year.
The virus has been detected in birds in four Asian countries, but China and Laos are the only ones that have reported human cases.
Whenever avian influenza viruses are circulating, there is a risk for sporadic infection and small clusters of human cases due to exposure to infected poultry or contaminated environments, says the U.S. CDC.
H5N6 infections are often severe or fatal.
Travelers to the Mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets, or farms.
They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. In addition, they should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.
And travelers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if symptoms develop and inform the doctor of their travel history for prompt diagnosis and treatment of potential diseases.
The annual flu shot does not protect people from avian influenza viruses, says the CDC.