In China, two people died from bird flu and three in hospital

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China reported two deaths bird flu after confirmation of five new cases of H5N6, z World Health Organization calls for “urgent” action.

Experts were concerned about the growing number of cases of bird flu among people in China and warned that the strain could be more contagious to humans.

Five people – four men and one woman – were infected with the bird flu strain in 2021 in Sichuan Province, Zhejiang Province and Guangxi Autonomous Region. The sun reported with reference to the Hong Kong Health Department.

Two of those people have now died and the other three are currently fighting for their lives in hospital, officials said in a statement.

Four of the five infected were exposed to live domestic poultry, the statement said. How the fifth was exposed is being investigated.

China has reported two deaths from bird flu after confirming five new cases of H5N6, and the World Health Organization has called for “urgent” action. Pictured: Chicken cages in China (photo file)

The first person to die of H5N6 in December was a 75-year-old man from Luzhou, Sichuan. He was infected on December 1, was taken to hospital on December 4, and died on December 12.

The second victim was a 54-year-old man from Leshan, Sichuan, who was infected on December 8, accepted on December 16 and died on December 24.

A 51-year-old woman from Hangzhou, Zhejiang, fell ill on December 15 and was taken to hospital three days later. The statement said her condition was critical.

Two other men from Liuzhou, Guangxi – 53 and 28 – were also infected and taken to hospital on 23 December. The condition of the older man is assessed as serious, and that of the younger one. also critical.

“While local supervisory, preventive and control measures are in place, the CHP will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments,” stated.

Since 2014, 63 cases of avian influenza A (H5N6) in humans have been reported in China. More than half of these cases have been reported in the last six months.

Although the numbers are much lower than the hundreds of H7N9 infected in 2017, the infections are serious, making many critically ill.

Most cases have come into contact with poultry and there are no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission, the WHO said in October.

She said further investigation is needed to understand the risk and increase spillovers on people.

“The increase in the number of people in China this year is worrying. It is a virus that causes high mortality, ”said Thijs Kuiken, professor of comparative pathology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam last year.

Pictured: Workers vaccinate chickens (photo file).  China vaccines poultry against avian influenza, but last year's vaccine can only partially protect against emerging viruses, prevent major outbreaks, but allow the virus to continue circulating

Pictured: Workers vaccinate chickens (photo file). China vaccines poultry against avian influenza, but last year’s vaccine can only partially protect against emerging viruses, prevent major outbreaks, but allow the virus to continue circulating

“It could be that this variant is a little more contagious (for humans) … or it could be that there is more of this virus in poultry at the moment and therefore infecting more people.”

China is the world’s largest producer of poultry and a top producer of ducks acting as a reservoir for influenza viruses.

Backyard farms in China are common and many people still prefer to buy live chickens at markets.

China vaccines poultry against avian influenza, but the vaccine used last year can only partially protect against emerging viruses, prevent major outbreaks, but allow the virus to continue circulating.

Since the outbreak of the virus in the late 1990s, there have been less than 1,000 cases worldwide. Human-to-human spread is even rarer.

But because of how viruses develop, experts are concerned that a bird flu strain could mutate into a strain that could easily spread among humans and cause a pandemic.

In November, health authorities in the UK issued a warning to people traveling to China about the risks posed by bird flu.

A virus that kills up to 50% of people, but transmission is rare: everything you need to know about bird flu

What is bird flu?

Avian flu or bird flu is an infectious type of flu that spreads among bird species but can in rare cases spread to humans.

Like human flu, there are many strains of bird flu:

The current outbreak of birds in the UK is H5N1, a strain possessed by an infected Briton.

Where was he spotted in the UK?

A case of bird flu has been reported in humans in the south-west of England.

Officials did not disclose the exact location of the case, but the UKHSA said they had traced all of the individual’s close personal contacts and there was “no evidence” that the infection had spread to anyone else.

The UK is facing a particularly bad year for bird cases, with around a million having to be shot in Lincolnshire, where the virus was first spotted on 11 December.

Exclusion sites have been set up around Mablethorp, Alford and South Elkington in the region.

Outbreaks also occurred in North Yorkshire and Pocklington in East Yorkshire.

How deadly is the virus?

It is estimated that the death rate from bird flu in humans is as high as 50%.

However, because transmission to humans is so rare, less than 500 bird flu deaths have been reported to the World Health Organization since 1997.

Paul Wigley, a professor of avian infection and immunity at the University of Liverpool, said: “APHA and UKHSA’s advice on contact with infected birds makes sense and should be followed.

“The risk of a wider infection in the general public remains low.”

Is it transmitted from birds to humans?

Cases of human-to-human transmission are rare and do not usually spread from human to human.

Avian influenza is spread by close contact with an infected bird or its body.

This may include:

  • touching infected birds
  • touching excrement or bedding
  • killing or preparing infected poultry for cooking

Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, said: “Transmission of avian influenza to humans is rare as it requires direct contact between an infected, usually dead, bird and the individual concerned.

“This is a risk for guides in charge of removing corpses after an outbreak, but the virus does not spread in general and poses little danger.

“It doesn’t behave like the seasonal flu we’re used to.

“Despite the current increased concern about viruses, there is no risk to chicken or eggs and there is no need for a public alarm.”

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of bird flu usually take three to five days to appear, the most common being:

  • very high temperature
  • or a feeling of heat or shaking
  • sore muscles
  • headache
  • cough or shortness of breath

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