One Case of Human Infection with H5N6 Virus in China is Reported to WHO

On Dec. 23, 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of one laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus.

Details of the case are as follows: A 58-year-old male from Guangzhou city, Guangdong Province developed symptoms on Dec. 4. He was admitted to a hospital on Dec. 9 and is now in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.

The Chinese government has taken the following surveillance and control measures: Strengthen surveillance and situation analysis; reinforce case management and medical treatment; and conduct risk communication with the public and release information.

WHO continues to closely monitor the H5N6 situation and conduct risk assessment. So far, the overall risk associated with the H5N6 virus has not changed.

WHO advises that travelers to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza should avoid poultry farms, or contact with animals in live bird markets, or entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, or contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals. Travellers should also wash their hands often with soap and water. Travellers should follow good food safety and good food hygiene practices.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions. As always, a diagnosis of infection with an avian influenza virus should be considered in individuals who develop severe acute respiratory symptoms while travelling or soon after returning from an area where avian influenza is a concern.

WHO encourages countries to continue strengthening influenza surveillance, including surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns, in order to ensure reporting of human infections under the IHR (2005), and continue national health preparedness actions.

Source: WHO

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