Hen flu fears as China stories two deaths after 5 new H5N6 instances as WHO requires ‘pressing’ motion

Bird flu fears as China reports two deaths after five new H5N6 cases as WHO calls for ‘urgent’ action

CHINA has reported two deaths from chicken flu after 5 new H5N6 instances had been confirmed, with the WHO calling for “pressing” motion.

A bounce within the variety of individuals contaminated with chicken flu in China final 12 months has raised concern amongst consultants, who warned the pressure could possibly be extra infectious to people.


Two individuals have now died in China from chicken flu, whereas the opposite three stay in hospital[/caption]


Employees inject chickens with a chicken flu vaccine[/caption]

The Hong Kong Well being Division stated 5 individuals in Sichuan province, Zhejiang province, and the Guangxi Autonomous Area had been contaminated with the avian influenza pressure in December final 12 months.

Two individuals have now died, whereas the opposite three stay in hospital combating for his or her lives, officers stated in an announcement.

A 75-year-old man from Luzhou in Sichuan province fell ailing on December 1 after publicity to dwell home poultry.

He was rushed to hospital 4 days later and died on December 12.

A 54-year-old man from Leshan in the identical province additionally fell ailing on December eight and died three weeks afterward December 24.

He was additionally reported to have a historical past of publicity to dwell home poultry.

A 51-year-old girl from Hangzhou in Zhejiang province then grew to become sick on December 15 after publicity to dwell home poultry.

She was taken to hospital on December 18 and authorities stated she is in a essential situation.

The opposite two instances have been recorded in Liuzhou – a metropolis in Guangxi Autonomous Area, the Hong Kong Well being Division stated.

A 53-year-old man with a historical past of publicity to useless poultry fell ailing on December 19 and stays in hospital in a critical situation.

A 28-year-old man from the identical metropolis additionally fell ailing on December 23 and is alleged to be in a essential situation.

It was not instantly clear how the second man was contaminated.

Since 2014, 65 individuals have been contaminated with H5N6 chicken flu – however greater than half of these had been reported previously six months.

The WHO stated many of the instances had come into contact with poultry, and there have been no confirmed instances of human-to-human transmission.

But it surely stated additional investigation was “urgently” wanted to grasp the chance and perceive the rising variety of human instances.

Thijs Kuiken, professor of comparative pathology at Erasmus College Medical Centre in Rotterdam, beforehand warned: “The rise in human instances in China this 12 months is of concern. It’s a virus that causes excessive mortality.

“It could possibly be that this variant is a bit more infectious (to individuals)… or there could possibly be extra of this virus in poultry in the intervening time and that’s why extra individuals are getting contaminated.”


China is the world’s largest poultry producer and high producer of geese, which act as a reservoir for flu viruses.

Yard farms in China are nonetheless widespread and many individuals nonetheless want to purchase dwell chickens at markets.

Though avian influenza viruses always flow into in home and wild birds, they hardly ever infect individuals.

However the evolution of the viruses, which have elevated as poultry populations develop, is a significant concern as they may change right into a virus that spreads simply between individuals and trigger a pandemic.

In November final 12 months, the UK well being authorities issued a warning to travellers to China concerning the threat of chicken flu.

Dr Gavin Dabrera, a Guide in Acute Respiratory Infections at UKHSA stated: “Anybody visiting China ought to keep away from publicity to any birds or dwell birds in ‘moist markets’ as a precaution.

“We proceed to encourage individuals to keep away from touching useless or dying birds and keep good hand hygiene whereas travelling.

“Avian influenza stays a threat in China and if travellers expertise any flu like signs inside 10 days of coming back from China, they need to name their GP or NHS 111 and report their current journey.”

What’s chicken flu?

Hen flu is an infectious sort of influenza that spreads amongst birds. In uncommon instances, it may possibly have an effect on people.

There are many completely different strains of chicken flu virus and most of them don’t infect people. However there are 4 strains which have precipitated concern in recent times, in accordance with the NHS.

  • H5N1 (since 1997)
  • H7N9 (since 2013)
  • H5N6 (since 2014)
  • H5N8 (since 2016)

Though H5N1, H7N9 and H5N6 don’t infect people simply, a number of individuals have been contaminated around the globe, resulting in numerous deaths.

H5N6 has been present in some wild birds within the UK – however this can be a completely different pressure to the H5N6 virus that has contaminated some individuals in China.

Hen flu is unfold by shut contact with an contaminated chicken – useless or alive.

This consists of:

  • touching contaminated birds
  • touching droppings or bedding
  • killing or getting ready contaminated poultry for cooking

It’s necessary to notice you possibly can’t catch chicken flu via consuming totally cooked poultry or eggs, even in areas with an outbreak of chicken flu.

When you’re visiting a international nation that’s had an outbreak it is best to:

  • wash your palms usually with heat water and cleaning soap, particularly earlier than and after dealing with meals, specifically uncooked poultry
  • use completely different utensils for cooked and uncooked meat
  • be certain that meat is cooked till steaming scorching
  • keep away from contact with dwell birds and poultry

The primary signs of chicken flu can seem in a short time and embody:

  • a really excessive temperature or feeling scorching or shivery
  • aching muscle tissue
  • headache
  • a cough or shortness of breath