China and Hong Kong report three more H7N9 infections
Two more H7N9 avian influenza cases have been reported from China's mainland, and one new imported infection has been detected in Hong Kong, according to separate announcements today from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP).
One of the new cases from the mainland involves a 40-year-old resident from the Guizhou province city of Taijiang who had contact with live poultry before getting sick. The patient is under treatment. The other patient is a 66-year-old man from Fengjie County in the Chongqing municipality in southwestern China. He is being treated for his illness.
China has now reported at least 476 cases in its fifth and biggest wave of H7N9 activity, which the country's health officials have said is starting to decline.
Hong Kong's new case is in a 76-year-old man who became ill after a recent trip to the city of Fuzhou in Fujian province where he visited a wet market, the CHP said. His symptoms began on Mar 3, and he was admitted to the hospital 2 days later. The man has underlying health conditions, has pneumonia, and is in critical condition.
Hong Kong has now reported five imported cases related to China's most recent H7N9 wave. The four others had a history of travel to the mainland's Guangdong province.
Mar 7 CHP statement on two H7N9 cases from the mainland
Mar 7 CHP statement on Hong Kong's imported H7N9 case
More H5N8 in Europe as Taiwan battles three other strains
Russia and two other European countries reported more highly pathogenic H5N8 outbreaks, as Taiwan continues to grapple with three different strains that have struck more poultry farms, according to the latest reports from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
In Russia, six H5N8 outbreaks were reported at locations near Moscow—two farms and four backyard holdings. The events began between Feb 28 and Mar 6, with the virus killing 16,872 of 376,223 susceptible birds. The remaining ones were slated for culling.
Elsewhere in Europe, Ireland and Romania both reported more H5N8 detections in wild birds. Irish officials reported an event that killed three whooper swans in Galway County, and Romanian authorities reported six detections in wild birds—mostly whooper swans—found dead at locations in Neamt County in the northeast on Feb 20.
Mar 6 OIE report on H5N8 in Russia
Mar 6 OIE report on H5N8 in Ireland
Mar 6 OIE report on H5N8 in Romania
Taiwan in three separate reports detailed more outbreaks involving highly pathogenic H5N6, H5N8, and H5N2.
Three H5N6 outbreaks had start dates between Feb 14 and Feb 18, were reported from the city of Tainan and a township in Hualien County, and led to the culling of 19,000 ducks and breeding chickens. Two H5N8 outbreaks hit duck farms in Pingtung County and the city of Kaohsiung on Feb 22, prompting the slaughter of 7,868 ducks between the two locations.
And finally, officials reported 21 H5N2 outbreaks with start dates between Feb 15 and Feb 25, mostly on the southwestern side of the island. One of the sites was a slaughterhouse, and the rest were farms housing a total of 259,492 birds between them, which were destroyed to curb the spread of the virus.
Elsewhere in Asia, scientists in South Korea—where H5N6 outbreaks have also been reported in poultry—have experimentally infected a weasel with the H5N6 strain isolated from poultry to gauge possible risk to humans, Yonhap News reported today. The experiment was noted in an announcement from the Korea Centers for Disease Control, which said the virus doesn't easily infect other animals and that the risk to humans is likely to be low. In the past few years H5N6 has been linked to 17 human infections, all in China.
Mar 6 OIE report on H5N6 in Taiwan
Mar 6 OIE report on H5N8 in Taiwan
Mar 6 OIE report on H5N2 in Taiwan
Mar 7 Yonhap News story