Avian influenza – situation in China
10 January 2006
The Ministry of Health in China has confirmed the country’s eighth case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The patient is a six-year-old boy from the southern province of Hunan. He developed symptoms of fever and pneumonia on 24 December and is presently hospitalized in stable condition.
Chinese authorities have also reported that two cases, previously announced, have subsequently died. The deaths occurred in a 10-year-old girl from the Guangxi region, reported on 7 December, and a 35-year-old man from Jiangxi Province, reported on 16 December.
Of the eight confirmed cases in China, five have now died.
Initial investigation of the newly confirmed case has identified recent poultry deaths in the family flock as the likely source of exposure, though no poultry outbreaks have been officially reported in the area. Close contacts have been placed under medical observation and none has shown symptoms of infection to date.
This is the second confirmed case from Hunan Province. The earlier Hunan case, which was one of the first two reported in China in mid-November 2005, lived around 300 kilometres away from the present case.
In addition to Hunan, provinces and regions reporting human cases of H5N1 infection include Anhui, Guangxi, Liaoning, Jiangxi, and Fujian.