Yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed three new H9N2 avian flu cases in China, all involving children living in or with connections to Hunan province. The agency also noted two variant H1N1 (H1N1v) flu cases in young Chinese girls.
One H9N2 patient is a 10-year-old girl from Hunan province who fell ill in October 2022. The second is a 2-year-old boy from Hunan province whose symptoms began on February 5 and who had been exposed to backyard poultry before he became sick.
The third child with H9N2 flu is a 3-year-old girl from Jiangxi province who had suspected exposure to backyard poultry in Hunan province. Her symptoms first developed on January 31.
"Avian influenza A(H9N2) viruses are enzootic in poultry in Asia and increasingly reported in poultry in Africa," the WHO said.
H1N1v in preschoolers
The WHO also reported that a 3-year-old girl in Sichuan province and a 1-year-old girl in Jiangsu province contracted H1N1v flu. The older girl became ill December 27, 2022, while the younger one first had symptoms on January 30.
No information on the likely source of exposure to the virus was available.
The agency says the girls were infected with a "Eurasian avian-like swine influenza" strain. Both girls had mild illness and did not require hospital care.
The WHO said, "No information on the likely source of exposure to the virus was available at the time of reporting and no suspected cases among family contacts of the cases were reported."