By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Officials with the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) report monitoring an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in mainland China.
The case involves a 40-year-old woman living in Yongzhou in Hunan Province, who had prior exposure to a live poultry market before the onset of symptoms. She developed symptoms on September 8 and was admitted for treatment on the following day. The patient is in serious condition.
From 2014 to date, 43 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported in mainland China, with four out of 10 cases reported in just the past year.
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. 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). People in close contact with poultry are more susceptible to contracting avian influenza.