NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health reports monitoring four human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the Mainland.

Details of the cases are listed in the table below:

Age Sex Living place Onset date Admission date Condition History of exposure to live poultry
46 Male Fuzhou, Fujian January 28, 2022 February 3, 2022 Passed away on February 10, 2022 Had exposure to dead domestic poultry
6 Female Yangzhou, Jiangsu January 20, 2022 January 25, 2022 Critical Had exposure to live domestic poultry
48 Male Chengdu, Sichuan January 23, 2022 January 24, 2022 Critical Had visited live poultry market
35 Male Hechi, Guangxi January 31, 2022 February 5, 2022 Critical Had exposure to dead domestic poultry

From 2014 to date, 71 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by Mainland health authorities.

Image by Dsndrn-Videolar from Pixabay

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.

Health officials say the public should maintain strict personal, hand, food and environmental hygiene and take heed of the advice below when handling poultry:

  • Avoid touching poultry, birds, animals or their droppings;
  • When buying live chickens, do not touch them and their droppings. Do not blow at their bottoms. Wash eggs with detergent if soiled with faecal matter and cook and consume the eggs immediately. Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling chickens and eggs;
  • Eggs should be cooked well until the white and yolk become firm. Do not eat raw eggs or dip cooked food into any sauce with raw eggs. Poultry should be cooked thoroughly. If there is pinkish juice running from the cooked poultry or the middle part of its bone is still red, the poultry should be cooked again until fully done;
  • Wash hands frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, before handling food or eating, and after going to the toilet, touching public installations or equipment such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing; and
  • Wear a mask if fever or respiratory symptoms develop, when going to a hospital or clinic, or while taking care of patients with fever or respiratory symptoms.