… A third of all human cases of the H5N6 flu strain – which has a fatality rate of 50 per cent – have been reported in the last three months. Half of all the 47 known human cases have been reported in the last year…
Experts scramble to understand spike in human cases of bird flu strain in China
Global health bodies and Chinese researchers say the deadly strain, H5N6, could 'pose a serious threat to poultry and human health'
By Jennifer Rigby, The Telegraph (UK)
7 October 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on China to increase surveillance of a deadly strain of bird flu after a recent spike in human infections.
A third of all human cases of the H5N6 flu strain – which has a fatality rate of 50 per cent – have been reported in the last three months. Half of all the 47 known human cases have been reported in the last year.
A WHO spokesperson said: “Wider geographical surveillance in the China affected areas and nearby areas is urgently required to better understand the risk and the recent increase of spill over to humans.”
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control has been tracking the outbreak and last month reported in-depth on two new cases in Guangxi between February and July. They warned that the geographic spread and diversity of the virus “pose a serious threat to the poultry industry and human health.”
“The increasing trend of human infection with avian influenza virus has become an important public health issue that cannot be ignored,” the researchers added, stressing that the virus was evolving and there needed to be more surveillance of “drug-resistant strains and novel variants”.
While the overall number of cases remains low and there is no evidence of human to human transmission of the virus, the fatality rate of H5N6 is high:
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