By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Guangdong Province health authorities a human case of H5N6 avian influenza in a 52-year-old man from Dongguan City.

Guangdong province/Public domain image-Joowwww

He is currently being treated at a Dongguan City hospital.

From 2014 to date, 50 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by Mainland health authorities. More than half the cumulative cases have been reported during the past year.

“The increase in human cases in China this year is of concern. It’s a virus that causes high mortality,” said Thijs Kuiken, professor of comparative pathology at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam.

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). Human-to-human transmission is inefficient. People in close contact with poultry are more susceptible to contracting avian influenza. The elderly, children and people with chronic illness have a higher risk of developing complications such as bronchitis and chest infection.

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