New case of H5N6 bird flu reported in S.China’s Guangdong
Published: Mar 02, 2023 07:33 PM
File Photo:Xinhua

File Photo:Xinhua


South China's Guangdong Province registered a new case of H5N6 bird flu, according to health authorities in Hong Kong. Experts believed the emergence of the case was random and the risk of transmission of the virus is low, but once infected, humans could face high probability of death.

According to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health in Hong Kong, the diagnosed patient was a 49-year-old man living in Qingyuan, Guangdong, who had been in contact with live domestic poultry before the onset of symptoms. 

He developed symptoms on December 17, 2022, was admitted for treatment on December 21, 2022, and is in serious condition.

A total of 83 human cases of avian influenza A (H5N6) have been reported by health authorities in the Chinese mainland since 2014, the CHP said. 

The CHP told the Global Times through email on Thursday that it has always remained vigilant and worked closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments of avian influenza, in addition to establishing local surveillance, prevention and control measures.

The CHP warned travelers to the Chinese mainland or other affected areas to avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. 
The H5N6 avian influenza virus is highly pathogenic to fowls and mainly infects birds, while infections in humans rarely occur, Yang Zhanqiu, a professor from the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

In the Chinese mainland, H5N6 avian influenza virus was generally found among populations connected to wet markets and live poultry markets in the south of the country, Yang noted.

H5N6 human infection cases have been reported in places including Guangdong, southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and East China's Jiangxi Province, media reports showed.

H5N6 is a dangerous influenza for humans. Once infected, up to 93.8 percent of cases develop into severe cases and death rate could reach above 60 percent, according to a report by a television station based in Huizhou, Guangdong.