The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health reports closely monitoring two human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the Mainland.
The first case involves a 68-year-old man living in Langzhong in Sichuan. He developed symptoms on January 3, and was admitted for treatment on January 4. The patient is in critical condition.
The second case involves a 55-year-old woman living in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, who had exposure to slaughtered poultry before onset. She developed symptoms on January 6, and was admitted for treatment on January 9. The patient is in critical condition.
This is the second and third cases reported in 2022 and since 2014, 65 human cases have been reported in China.
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.