Thanh Hoa Province – Credit Wikipedia
One of the `second generation’ of HPAI H5 viruses to appear over the past 18 months – H5N6 – is one that that, unlike H5N8 and H5N2, has shown an ability to infect and seriously sicken humans. We first saw it appear, infecting poultry and killing one person, last April in Nanchong City (see Sichuan China: 1st Known Human Infection With H5N6 Avian Flu).
Once the threat was identified, local poultry was culled, and we heard nothing more for several months.
All was quiet regarding H5N6 until early August, when the virus suddenly popped up in widely separated outbreaks in central and northern Vietnam (see OIE: Two Outbreaks Of H5N6 In Vietnamese Poultry), hundreds of kilometers south of its original emergence.
Over the next few weeks we began to see additional outbreaks in Vietnam (see Vietnam Gears Up To Detect, Fight Avian H5N6) and two thousand miles away in northern China (see China: H5N6 Outbreak In Heilongjiang Poultry). Laos has also reported outbreaks in poultry.
Last October, in China: H5 AI Rising, we looked at 24 recently reported outbreaks of H5N6 across China.
The following month, in FAO-EMPRES Report On The Emergence And Threat Of H5N6, we looked at an analysis of H5N6, and other recently emerged avian flu viruses in China. Since then, two more human cases have been reported see China Reports 3rd H5N6 Case (Fatal) – Yunnan Province), of which only one survived.
We’ve not seen an OIE report from China on H5N6 since early February (Follow-up report No. 5) and Viet Nam has been unusually quiet since the New Year as well, with just a small number of H5N1 and HPAI H5 outbreaks reported in 2015.
Today, however, we have multiple media account of a recent outbreak of H5N6 in Thanh Hoa. I’ve checked the Vietnam’s MARD website, but no notice has been posted at this time. If confirmed, we should see an OIE notification in the next few days.
Thanh Hóa: appeared bird flu A/H5N6
AFP From mid March, 2015, at Thanh Hoa, bird flu has appeared in a household in Hai Tinh Gia district, which Fields nearly 300 children infected poultry. Sample swabs for the positive result for influenza A/H5N6.
Bird flu appear on household flocks Le post added, Hamlet 2, Hai Tinh Gia district Chiefs Township to 293 the poultry (ducks, 103 190 chicks) infected.
According to the results of tests by the veterinary agency 3, sample swabs positive for influenza A/H5N6. This is the strain of the virus causing the bird flu threat, viruses have high and can spread to people with high mortality rates.
This is a new virus strains emerge in Thanh Hoa province, poultry vaccination has not been immune to this virus type. On the other hand, prolonged overcast weather increases the risk of epidemic scale.
Before the situation on the Thanh Hoa province, has express about making urgent measures in prevention of avian influenza A/H5N6.
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Although not as well known, or as well distributed as H5N8 and H5N2 – H5N6 is viewed with extra suspicion because it has already demonstrated the ability to infect humans (see FAO Warns on H5N6)
But as with the H5N1 virus, we’ve not seen any evidence that it is capable of transmitting efficiently from human-to-human.