Bird Flu Cases Confirmed by China
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced on August 6, 2021, it is closely monitoring two human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) on the China Mainland. From 2014 to date, Mainland health authorities have reported 37 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6).
"All novel influenza A infections, including H5N6, are notifiable infectious diseases in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CHP stated in a news release.
The first case involves a 61-year-old woman living in Guilin in Guangxi who had prior exposure to a live poultry market before the onset of symptoms. She is in stable condition.
And the second case involves a 65-year-old woman living in Yibin City in Sichuan Province, who is in critical condition.
While local surveillance, prevention, and control measures are in place, the CHP will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments.
People can be infected with various influenza viruses circulating in animals, such as avian influenza (Bird Flu) virus subtypes A(H5N1) and A(H9N2) and swine influenza virus subtypes A(H1N1) and (H3N2), says the WHO.
However, travelers to the Mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets, or farms. And they should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.
Moreover, travelers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if influenza-like symptoms develop. This will enable the doctor to assess the possibility of avian influenza and arrange necessary investigations and appropriate treatment in a timely manner, says the CHP.
Even though Zoonotic influenza viruses are found in humans, these animal viruses are distinct from human influenza viruses. And the annual 'flu shot' does not prevent zoonotic influenza infections, says the U.S. CDC.
The CDC considers the risk to the U.S. public’s health from HPAI H5 or H7 virus outbreaks in wild birds or poultry in the United States to be low