In a follow-up on the H5N6 avian influenza situation on Mainland China, Hong Kong health officials report five additional human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) from December 2021, bringing the total cases reported to 36 last year.
The latest reported cases include two fatalities from Luzhou, Sichuan province.
|Age||Sex||Living place||Onset date||Admission date||Condition||History of exposure to live poultry|
|December 1, 2021||December 4, 2021||Passed away on December 12, 2021||Had exposure to live domestic poultry|
|December 8, 2021||December 16, 2021||Passed away on December 24, 2021||Had exposure to live domestic poultry|
|51||Female||Hangzhou, Zhejiang||December 15, 2021||December 18, 2021||Critical||Had exposure to live domestic poultry|
|53||Male||Liuzhou, Guangxi||December 19, 2021||December 23, 2021||Serious||Had exposure to dead poultry|
|28||Male||Liuzhou, Guangxi||December 23, 2021||December 23, 2021||Critical||Pending confirmation|
This brings the total cases in China since 2014, including one case reported in 2022 to 63.
Avian influenza is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. Clinical presentation of avian influenza in humans may range from flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) to severe respiratory illness (e.g. chest infection). Eye infection (conjunctivitis) and gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting and diarrhea) have also been reported. The incubation period ranges from 7 to 10 days. The more virulent forms can result in respiratory failure, multi-organ failure and even death.
People mainly become infected with avian influenza virus through contact with infected birds and poultry (live or dead) or their droppings, or contact with contaminated environments (such as wet markets and live poultry markets). Human-to-human transmission is inefficient. People in close contact with poultry are more susceptible to contracting avian influenza. The elderly, children and people with chronic illness have a higher risk of developing complications such as bronchitis and chest infection.