Home NewsAntarctica Rise in H5N6 bird flu may be explained by more-infectious variant, experts worry

Rise in H5N6 bird flu may be explained by more-infectious variant, experts worry

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China has reported 21 circumstances of the H5N6 subtype of chook flu this 12 months, in contrast with solely 5 final 12 months, leaving specialists involved that the pressure presently circulating is extra infectious than previous variations of the virus, Reuters reported.

Scientists first recognized H5N6 avian influenza in poultry in Laos in 2013, in keeping with a 2020 report within the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID). And since 2014, a complete of 49 confirmed circumstances of people contaminated with H5N6 have been reported to the World Well being Group (WHO), according to the WHO’s Avian Influenza Weekly Update.

The 21 circumstances reported in China this 12 months have resulted in no less than six deaths and left lots of the remaining contaminated folks critically sick. “The rise in human circumstances in China this 12 months is of concern. It is a virus that causes excessive mortality,” Thijs Kuiken, a professor of comparative pathology at Erasmus College Medical Middle in Rotterdam, Netherlands, instructed Reuters. In response to the EID report, human H5N6 infections have a 67% mortality price.

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The WHO has confirmed that, among the many 21 contaminated people in China, most got here into contact with poultry, and there have been no confirmed circumstances of human-to-human transmission, Reuters reported. 

“Presently obtainable epidemiologic and virologic proof counsel that A(H5N6) influenza viruses haven’t acquired the power of sustained transmission amongst people, thus the probability of human-to-human unfold is low,” a WHO spokesperson told BNO News on Oct. 5. The spokesperson additionally acknowledged that wider geographical surveillance of affected areas in China and close by areas is “urgently required” to know the current uptick in human circumstances.

It could possibly be that the H5N6 presently circulating is a brand new variant that infects people extra simply than previous variations of the virus, Kuiken instructed Reuters. Or there could also be a big improve in H5N6 amongst poultry, which may lead to extra human  publicity to the virus. 

Learn extra in regards to the rise in chook flu circumstances at Reuters and BNO News.

Initially printed on Stay Science.

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