China reports human avian influenza A(H5N6) case in Guangdong


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Hong Kong officials have reported close monitoring of a human case of avian influenza A (H5N6) on the mainland.

Photo/Robert Herrmann

The case involves a 49-year-old male living in Qingyuan, Guangdong Province, who had contact with live poultry prior to the onset of symptoms. He developed symptoms on December 17, 2022. He was admitted for treatment on December 21, 2022, and was in serious condition.

From 2014 to date, 83 human cases of avian influenza A (H5N6) have been reported by mainland health authorities.

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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