Just a couple of days after the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) has announced the third human case of avian influenza A(H5N1) in a 34-year-old Yunnan province man, another case is being reported from the same province.

H5N1 avian influenza/CDC
H5N1 avian influenza/CDC

Today, the NHFPC announced a case in a 17-year-old Yunnan man.

According to the information provided by NHFPC, the patient lives in Kunming and has presented with fever and headache on March 13. He attended a local hospital on March 20. The patient is currently hospitalised for treatment in critical condition. His specimen, which was tested by the relevant authority, was positive for avian influenza A(H5N1).

This is the fourth human case of avian influenza A(H5N1) reported from China in 2015.

Related: Egypt H5N1 avian influenza tally is 116 for 2015 to date

H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza (or “bird flu”). Humancases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person. When people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60%.

Almost all cases of H5N1 infection in people have been associated with close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments. The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual. There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and thoroughly cooked food.