By NewsDesk @bactiman63
Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced today the monitoring of an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in mainland China, the 24th case reported in the past 10 months.
The case involves a 60-year-old woman living in Changde in Hunan Province. She is a farmer and had exposure to dead poultry. She developed symptoms on October 3, and was admitted for treatment on October 13. The patient is in critical condition.
From 2014 to date, 48 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by Mainland health authorities.
Avian influenza is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. Human cases infected with avian influenza A (e.g. H5N1, H5N6, H6N1, H7N4, H7N9, H9N2 and H10N8) viruses have been identified in recent years.
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 diarrhoea) have also been reported. Infection of the more virulent forms [e.g. avian influenza A (H5N1, H5N6, H7N9 or H10N8) viruses] 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. Outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry have been reported in some countries from time to time, and some cases of human infection have occasionally been reported.