Report of fatal human case of H5N6 avian influenza      06/02/24

A 52-year-old woman from southeast China’s Fujian Province has died after contracting H5N6 avian influenza. This is the 90th case of H5N6 human infection in the past decade.
(The subtype currently infecting mammals in the Americas and spreading to humans in the United States, and the subtype detected in mammals in the country last year, is H5N1.)

According to the Hong Kong Health Protection Center, the woman’s symptoms began on April 13, she was hospitalized on April 20, and died on April 30. Investigation revealed that she had been in contact with poultry in her backyard before she became ill.

The woman was from Quanzhou, the largest city in Fujian Province, with a population of over 8 million.

Highly pathogenic H5N6 is known to circulate among poultry in China and other Asian countries, but so far only China and Laos have reported human cases. Human cases are rare, and most occur in people who come in contact with poultry or poultry rearing environments. Infections are often severe and can lead to death.

China has now reported 90 cases of H5N6 infection since the first human case was reported in 2014. The last case was reported in the country in mid-January.