For the second time this year, a person from China has become infected with H5N6 avian influenza. The Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province confirmed the positive case in a 58-year-old man in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
The patient, who is in critical condition, is currently receiving treatment in a hospital in Guangzhou. No abnormality was reported among the close contacts of the patient.
In May 2014, a man from the southwest province of Sichuan became the first human case and fatality of the avian influenza A(H5N6) virus.
In September, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released a report concerning this avian flu virus calling it “worrisome” as a threat to birds.
Chinese authorities first reported the influenza A(H5N6) virus in poultry in April 2014. Since then, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam have also detected the H5N6 virus in poultry.
“Influenza viruses are constantly mixing and recombining to form new threats,” said FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Juan Lubroth. “However, H5N6 is particularly worrisome, since it has been detected in several places so far from one another, and because it is so highly pathogenic, meaning infected poultry quickly become sick and, within 72 hours, death rates are very high.”
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