S China's Dongguan reports one case of H5N6 avian flu
Published: Sep 23, 2021 01:24 AM

File Photo:Xinhua

Dongguan, in South China's Guangdong Province, reported one new case of H5N6 bird flu on Tuesday, the second confirmed case in the province after a woman was infected with the virus on August 19 in Huizhou. Experts assessed that the case was a random and the risk of transmission of the virus is low at the current stage.

According to the Health Commission of Guangdong Province, the diagnosed patient surnamed Li, a 53-year-old male, is currently being treated at a designated hospital in Dongguan.

Experts pointed out that the H5N6 avian influenza virus is highly pathogenic to fowls. Since it was first discovered in poultry in China in 2008, it has gradually replaced the H5N1 avian influenza as the main virus prevalent in China's poultry farms and live poultry markets. 

But in its natural state, the H5N6 avian influenza virus mainly infects birds and infections in humans rarely occur. As of the end of March 2021, only 25 human infections have been reported worldwide, and all are dispersed cases.

On April 12, the H5N6 avian flu was found in wild birds in Shenyang, a city in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, which marked the first confirmed cases of the flu in China this year.

After May 2014, H5N6 human infection cases have been reported in several places in China, including Sichuan, Guangdong, Yunnan and Jiangxi provinces, where at least four people have died.

Experts from the Health Commission of Guangdong Province concluded that the emergence of the case was random and the risk of transmission of the virus is relatively low now. However, they warned that although the H5N6 avian influenza virus rarely infects humans, it should be given high priority and remain under surveillance to avoid the spread of the epidemic by human factors.