China reports 3 human infections of H5N6 bird flu

Beijing: Even as China deals with an extremely severe Covid situation, it is also witnessing a rise in H5N6 bird flu cases.

According to officials, three more people in mainland China have tested positive for H5N6 bird flu, BNO news reported.

The Guangdong Provincial Health Commission, in a statement on Thursday said that a 52-year-old man from Dongguan City had tested positive for H5N6 bird flu.

“The patient is currently being treated at a designated hospital in Dongguan,” the commission said.

While the statement did not say how the man was infected, it said the risk of human-to-human transmission is believed to be low.

Another case was reported in Yongzhou in Hunan Province, where a farmer has been hospitalised in critical condition. The 66-year-old man fell ill in late September and samples collected from poultry in his backyard were found to be positive for bird flu (H5), according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A 58-year-old woman from Hunan Province also tested positive, and was reported by Chinese officials at a WHO meeting in September, according to a new report from the agency. The woman fell ill on August 28 but the case had not been reported to the public. Details about her condition have not been released, the report said.

H5N6 bird flu is known to cause severe illness in humans of all ages and has killed nearly half of those infected, according to WHO. There are no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission but a 61-year-old woman who tested positive in July denied having contact with live poultry.

Only 52 people have been infected with H5N6 bird flu since the first confirmed case in 2014, but 20 of them were reported during the past 4 months, and more than half of all cases were reported this year alone. A jump in the number of people in China infected with bird flu this year is raising concern among experts, who say a previously circulating strain appears to have changed and may be more infectious to people.

Meanwhile China’s latest Covid resurgence has spread to 14 provinces. As per the NHC daily report, In the last 24 hours, the Chinese mainland reported 59 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases and 19 new imported cases, Xinhua news agency reported.