China: Human H5N1 avian influenza case/death reported in Guangxi


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Health officials in Hong Kong have reported close monitoring of a human case of avian influenza A (H5N1) infection on the mainland.

H5N1 Avian Influenza/CDC

The case is of a 38-year-old woman living in Qinzhou, Guangxi Province, who had been exposed to live poultry before the onset of the disease. She developed symptoms on September 22 and was admitted for treatment on September 25. She died on October 18th.

From 2005 to date, mainland health authorities have reported 54 human cases of avian influenza A (H5N1), including 32 deaths.

This is the fourth human case to be reported globally in 2022 and the first death (other human cases were reported in Spain (2) and United State).

Globally, 868 confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza have been reported since 2003, including 457 deaths in 21 countries.

Avian influenza is caused by influenza viruses that mainly infect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. The clinical presentation of avian influenza in humans may range from flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches) to severe respiratory illness (such as chest infection). Eye infection (conjunctivitis) and gastrointestinal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) have also been reported. The incubation period ranges from 7 to 10 days. The most virulent forms can lead to respiratory failure, multiple organ failure, and even death.

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People mainly become infected with the avian influenza virus through contact with infected birds and poultry (live or dead) or their droppings, or contact with contaminated environments (such as wet markets and live poultry markets). Human-to-human transmission is ineffective. People who are in close contact with poultry are more likely to get bird flu. The elderly, children, and people with chronic diseases are more likely to develop complications such as bronchitis and chest infection.

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