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Human Case of H5N1 Bird Flu in China

A 53-year-old woman from Jiangsu province in eastern China has tested positive for H5N1 bird flu. The woman developed symptoms after exposure to poultry and tested positive in February. The current condition of the woman is unknown.

Microscopic image of the H5N1 virus
Microscopic image of the H5N1 virus

The Variant of H5N1 Bird Flu Emerges in China

Genetic sequencing in China showed that the new case was caused by clade, the same variant that has spread worldwide and raised concerns about a possible threat to human health. This sets it apart from the cases in Cambodia, which were caused by clade, an older variant.

Spread of H5N1 Bird Flu Raises Concerns

The global spread of bird flu has raised concerns about the possibility of a future variant that could lead to human-to-human transmission. Recent cases in mammals, including mink, foxes, and sea lions, have added to those concerns.

Microscopic image of the H5N1 virus
Microscopic image of the H5N1 virus

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) have expressed their concerns about the spread of H5N1 avian influenza. WHO's Dr. Sylvie Briand said, "The global H5N1 situation is worrying given the wide spread of the virus in birds around the world and the increasing reports of cases in mammals, including humans."

Recent Cases of H5N1 Bird Flu Around the World

A 9-year-old girl in Ecuador tested positive for H5N1 bird flu in January, making it the first case in South America. She was hospitalized in critical condition but has since recovered. In September 2022, a 38-year-old woman died of H5N1 in China's Guangxi after exposure to backyard poultry.