While China's avian H7N9 problem still appears to be in check following last years massive H5+H7 nationwide poultry immunization program, in recent weeks we've seen some increased signs of HPAI H5N6 activity.
In August China reported their 2nd human infection (see Guangxi Province Report Their 3rd Human H5N6 Infection) of 2018, followed in late September by their 3rd (see HK CHP Notified Of Human H5N6 Case In Gaungdong Province).
On September 29th the MOA Announced An HPAI H5N6 Outbreak In Guizhou Province Poultry, while today the MOA is announcing another H5N6 outbreak in neighboring Hunan Province.
A highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak of H5N6 subtype in poultry in Fenghuang County, Hunan Province
Date: 2018-10-09 18:06 Author: Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Press Office
The Information Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs released on October 9 that a high-pathogenic avian influenza epidemic of poultry H5N6 subtype occurred in Fenghuang County, Hunan Province.
On September 26, poultry raised by a farmer in Fenghuang County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan Province, died of unexplained death. As of September 28, there were 519 poultry, 516 pigeons and 385 deaths. On September 28, the Hunan Provincial Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center diagnosed a suspected bird flu epidemic. On October 9, the national avian influenza reference laboratory confirmed that the epidemic was a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak of H5N6 subtype.
After the outbreak, the local authorities adhered to the relevant laws and regulations on prevention and control, adhered to the law prevention and control, scientific prevention and control, and effectively handled the epidemic situation. They have culled 1,029 poultry, and all the sick and culled poultry have been treated harmlessly. At present, the epidemic has been effectively controlled.
This Asian HPAI H5N6 virus should not be confused with the milder European origin HPAI H5N6 virus reassortment that turned up in South Korea, Japan, and Northern Europe last winter.
The name is the same, but their lineage and threat to human health are far different.Asian HPAI H5N6 - while only identified in 21 patients so far - has proven to be fatal in more than half those cases. So far - unlike it's HPAI H5N8 and HPAI H5N1 cousins - it has yet to spread beyond Asia.
For more on the history of this lesser known virus, you may wish to revisit:
Nature: Origins and Evolution of HPAI H5N6
H5N6: The Other HPAI H5 Threat
H5N6 Rising: Infecting Birds, Humans, & Even Cats
EID Journal: Influenza A(H5N6) Virus Reassortant, Southern China, 2014