China yesterday confirmed an outbreak of H5N2 bird flu in poultry coming out of Hebei province, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).
China Daily reports:
The disease has killed 4,000 chickens raised by a farm in Baoding City after they showed symptoms of the suspected avian flu on December 17, according to the MOA.
The National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory on Saturday confirmed the epidemic was H5N2 bird flu after testing samples collected at the farm.
Authorities said that a total of 125,700 birds have been disposed of to prevent the disease from spreading.
In 2005, Japan was forced to cull more than 1.5 million birds to stop the H5N2 flu which has in the past infected poultry flocks in Taiwan as well. The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) has described the flu as “a milder form than the deadly H5N1“.
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, available data so far indicates that highly pathogenic H5N2 is able to infect humans, but only to a limited extent. It may cause conjunctivitis or a mild respiratory illness.
Earlier this week, an elderly woman in Nanchang, Jianxi province was diagnosed as having the H10N8 flu, a virus previously confined to bird species. She was diagnosed with pneumonia at the end of last monght and died a week later, according to reports.
Unlike H5N1 or H7N9, it was not previously known to have made humans ills. [sic.]
Health authorities said the woman had a compromised immune system and visited a local live poultry market before becoming ill. They said people who had come in contact with the victim were being monitored and had so far showed no signs of the disease.
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