H5N6 avian flu sickens 2 more in China, both fatally
China has reported to more H5N6 avian flu infections in humans, both fatal in people who were sick in November and died in early December, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said in a statement today.
The patients are a 12-year-old girl and a 79-year-old man, both from the city of Liuzhou in Guangxi province. They had both been at a live-poultry market before they got sick and started experiencing symptoms 1 day apart from each other, suggesting that they might be family members. The girl and the man died 1 day apart, the man on Dec 3 and the girl on Dec 4.
So far, China has reported 73 human H5N6 cases since 2014, which are often severe or fatal. The virus is known to circulate in poultry in a handful of Asian countries, but so far, China and Laos are the only ones that have reported human infections.
The latest cases are part of a dramatic uptick in H5N6 cases in China. So far this year, the country has reported 9 cases.
Mar 8 CHP statement
Avian flu strikes more locations in Iowa, Missouri
Iowa yesterday reported a second highly pathogenic avian flu outbreak, this time affecting a commercial turkey farm, and Missouri recently reported a second event, which occurred in a backyard flock.
In a statement, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) said the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the virus in a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County, which is in the northwestern part of the state. The location is about 100 miles north of a recent outbreak reported in a backyard flock in Pottawattamie County. According to the USDA's outbreak page, the Buena Vista County turkey farm had 50,000 birds.
Missouri's second outbreak affected a backyard flock housing 51 birds in Bates County, according to an update from the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA). Last week, officials reported an initial outbreak, which involved a commercial broiler facility in Stoddard County that led to the loss of 294,751 birds.
In other developments, the USDA reported a few more detections in wild birds, raising the total to 307 detections, mainly in states along the Eastern Seaboard. The most recent detections were waterfowl found dead, mainly Canada geese, in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
The expanding outbreaks in poultry and detections in wild birds are part of activity involving the Eurasian H5N1 strain that is also spreading in other world regions.
Mar 7 IDALS statement
MDA avian flu page
USDA avian flu detections in wild birds