The China National Health and Family Planning Commission announced an addition human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in Guangxi in southern China.

The patient is a 30-year-old female farmer from Liuzhou. She developed symptoms on November 8 and was hospitalized on November 18. She is now in a serious condition. The patient had contact with dead poultry before the onset of symptoms.

China /CIA
China /CIA

This is the sixteenth human case reported from China in the past two years.

According to the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP), 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 includes eye infection (conjunctivitis), flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) or severe respiratory illness (e.g. chest infection). The incubation period ranges from 7 to 10 days. The more virulent forms can result in respiratory failure, multi-organ failure and even death.

People mainly become infected with avian influenza through close contact with infected birds and poultry (live or dead) or their droppings. Human-to-human transmission is inefficient. People in close contact with poultry are more susceptible to contracting avian flu. The elderly, children and people with chronic illness have a higher risk of developing complications such as bronchitis and chest infection.