Woman In China Dies 3 Weeks After Catching Rare H5N6 Strain of Bird Flu

    Woman In China Dies 3 Weeks After Catching Rare H5N6 Strain of Bird Flu

    Woman In China Dies 3 Weeks After Catching Rare H5N6 Strain of Bird Flu

    The woman caught the bird flu strain from a poultry market.

    A 33-year-old woman has died three weeks after testing positive for H5N6 strain of bird flu in China, according to Metro. She caught the rare form of the dangerous disease in the city of Bazhong, in Sichuan province, shortly after visiting a poultry market. The woman, who has not been named, was admitted to hospital on October 22 and died from the illness on November 14, the outlet further said. Her death has been reported this week. The H5N6 strain is considered to be the most deadly, with a mortality rate of 39 per cent.

    Metro said the strain has infected a large number of people in China in recent years raising concerns among experts.

    In about 10 years, 88 cases of H5N6 have been reported from across the world. Of those, 87 were in mainland China, according to a report released on Tuesday by Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection.

    “The rise in the number of reported human cases of an H5N6 infection may reflect the continued circulation of the virus in birds, and enhanced surveillance system and diagnostic capacity as a direct outcome of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Metro quoted an official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

    World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), the intergovernmental organisation that routinely releases information on animal diseases, H5N6 has only been detected in Asia in the last four years.

    According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) H5N6 has also been found in some wild birds in the UK. It said that the bird flu spreads by close contact with an infected bird (dead or alive). The health body also said that people can catch bird flu by eating fully cooked poultry or eggs.

    It has also advised people to avoid visiting poultry markets while travelling to countries that have had an outbreak of bird flu.

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