New pandemic fears as China sees spike in cases of deadly bird flu with 50% death rate

While the overall number of cases of H5N6 bird flu in humans remains low, the number of confirmed cases in China’s Guangxi province has risen sharply in the past few months


By Michael Moran, Daily Star (UK)

8 Oct 2021


A new, deadly variant of bird flu with a 50% fatality rate has been described as as a “serious threat” by China’s Centre for Disease Control.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) says a recent spike in the number of human cases of H5N6 bird flu in China is cause for concern and requires “increased surveillance”.


While only 48 people have been infected with H5N6 bird flu since the first reported case in 2014, a third of those confirmed cases were identified in China’s Guangxi province during the past 3 months alone.


While infection numbers so far are low, the severity of the disease is a significant worry. Half of the people who are confirmed to have caught the virus have died, and the remainder have all suffered serious illness.


A WHO spokesman said: