Outbreak News Today

China: Human H5N6 avian influenza case reported in Guangxi

Officials with China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission are reporting an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in a Guangxi man.

The case involved a 33-year-old man from Guigang. He developed symptoms on November 7 and was hospitalized on November 12. He is now in a critical condition. The patient had contact with live poultry and exposure to live poultry markets before the onset of symptoms.

From 2014 to date, 17 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6), including at least 11 deaths have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.

Avian influenza (AI) is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. These AI viruses are distinct from human seasonal influenza viruses. Since the AI viruses does not commonly infect human, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population. People mainly become infected with AI through direct contact with infected birds and poultry (live or dead), their droppings or contaminated environments.

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Hong Kong health officials are advising travelers to the Mainland to avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.

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