Via the South China Morning Post: Sichuan poultry farmer confirmed dead from new bird flu strain H5N6.
A new strain of avian influenza, H5N6, has claimed the life of a man in southwest Sichuan province in what mainland authorities say is the first reported case of the strain appearing in humans.
A 49-year-old poultry rancher from Nanbu county, who reportedly came in contact with a dead and birds, was admitted to hospital in critical condition late last month and diagnosed with severe pneumonia, according to the official website of the Sichuan provincial government.
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed a preliminary diagnosis and said the findings showed a novel strain of avian virus.
The CDC referred to the strain as avian H5N6 today, according to the report.
Initial tests from China’s National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory was able to isolate the H5N6 virus from all suspected human avian influenza virus samples collecting from poultry farmers in Nanchong city on May 3, the CNS said.
It added that the 49-year-old man has record of close contact with dead and sick fowl prior.
It is not clear when the patient died and authorities did not release his name.
Mainland infectious disease experts said H5N6 displays some characteristics that point toward it being an isolated case, China News Service (CNS) reported.
Individuals who came in contact with the victim have not exhibited symptoms of the disease, indicating a probable low risk of human-to-human transmission.
Mainland medical authorities said H5N6 may share some similarities with H10N8, a bird flu strain that last year killed a 73-year-old woman in Jiangxi province. The most recent fatality may be part of a random process of the virus changing, according to CNS.
Once the patient was confirmed as an active infectious case on April 22, the government of Nanchong, which has jurisdiction over Nanbu county, butchered some 1,338 chickens and other water fowl that tested positive for the strain and began a disinfection programme.
No other details were provided.