Two people who are hospitalized in critical condition in mainland China have tested positive for H5N6 bird flu, raising the number of cases so far this year to 19, officials say. The spike in human cases has led to calls for increased surveillance.
The first case, a 28-year-old man from Puyang in Henan Province, developed symptoms on March 18 after exposure to live poultry, according to the Hong Kong Health Department. He was hospitalized the next day and remains in critical condition.
The other case, a 53-year-old woman from Zhenjiang City in Jiangsu Province, fell ill on March 24 after visiting a live poultry market. She was hospitalized two days later and is still in critical condition.
Other details about the cases were not released by the Chinese government, which often takes weeks or months to announce new cases.
The Chinese government disclosed last month that a 12-year-old girl and a 79-year-old man died of H5N6 bird flu in December.
Only 78 people have been infected with H5N6 bird flu since the first confirmed case in 2014 but most infections were diagnosed during the past year. At least 19 cases, including five deaths, have been reported so far this year….read more