Outbreak News: Scientists Warn That More Sporadic Cases Of Human Infections Of Avian Flu H5N6 Expected In 2023 After Reported Cases In Ecuador and China!
: Scientist are warning that more sporadic cases of human infections of avian flu H5N6 can be expected in 2023 after cases emerged in Ecuador and China.
H5N6 is a subtype of the species Influenza A virus, often referred to as bird flu virus as it typically infects birds, chickens and other fowl. Infected birds shed the virus in their saliva, mucous, and feces.
The H5N6 virus was first detected in poultry in 2013, since then spreading among wild bird populations and poultry around the world. Humans can be infected through unprotected contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces. The virus transmits by getting into a person's eyes, nose, mouth, and through inhalation. (The virus is also airborne)
To date, human infections are rare. Since 2014, at least 65 cases have occurred in humans. 29 people have died. A spike in human cases was reported in 2021.
Though there have been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission, some scientists warn that the virus is mutating and could easily become transmissible between human.
Some infections have been identified where no direct contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces has been known to had occurred. Only one infected woman has said that she never came into any contact with poultry.
In most cases, huma who contract the H5N6 Avian flu virus typically end up in critical conditions or die.
In the latest case, health authorities in Ecuador reported the H5N6 Outbreak News
on the 7th
of January 2023, involving a young girl aged 9 years that was infected with the virus in the province of Bolivar.
The infected girl initially only had mild symptoms but her conditions later deteriorated and she is currently in the ICU ward at the Baca Ortiz Pediatric Hospital in Quito (HPBO).
In another case, a 54-year-old male from Hunan province, China was also reported to have contracted the H5N6 virus and is still currently in critical care.
More such cases are expected this year especially since preliminary data is showing that many bird and fowl populations across the world are getting infected with the H5N6 virus.
There are also many other Avian flu virus in circulation including AH5N1, AH5 and AH3N8, AH7N4, AH7N9, AH9N2 and AH10N3 that can also infect humans.
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