Even as Taiwan's CDC continues to trace and monitor dozens of contacts of their first imported H7N9 case of the year, and stays alert for the potential for seeing more travelers returning from the Mainland with the virus, a new potential health threat was announced today by Taiwan's BAPHIQ: HPAI H5N6 Found In Dead Goose.
Although having produced far fewer human infections than either H5N1 or H7N9, this novel virus has infected at least 16 people on the Mainland since it emerged in 2014, killing more than half (see map below).
While we've not seen any human cases reported in Japan or South Korea, the H5N6 virus continues to evolve - and reassort with other viruses - and is therefore a moving target (see Korea H5N6: New Genetic Analysis & Investigating Its Rapid Spread). How it behaved yesterday in Japan or Korea is no guarantee of how it will behave today in Taiwan.
Given the potential human health risks, Taiwan's CDC has issued the following statement in the wake of BAPHIQ's announcement earlier today.
In response to the first detection of H5N6 virus from dead poultry in China, DSD will continue to monitor the development of the epidemic and the health status of the contacts
In response to the first inspection of the H5N6 high pathogenic avian influenza virus in the domestic dead young goose, the Office of the Commissioner for Disease Control and Prevention (COAG) was informed by the COA that, according to the new Type A influenza epidemic prevention and control work Manual standard operating procedures, take the initiative to implement the epidemic investigation, health education publicity, active contact with the health status of the prevention and control work.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) published information, since the (2016) the second half of the year, neighboring South Korea, Japan H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza epidemic, wild birds and poultry farms continue to detect the virus. For the first time since domestic bird detection of bird flu H5N6 avian influenza virus, rare because of bird transmission, but there are still some slight risk, health units for its 3 km around the poultry farms, abattoirs and wild birds learn to contact contacts made The surveillance will be monitored until February 12. In addition, the department will continue to monitor the epidemic and virus-related information on avian influenza and other domestic and foreign cases, strengthen surveillance and epidemic prevention, and ensure the health and safety of Chinese people. .
H5N6 influenza is the fifth type of legal infectious diseases, "a new type of influenza A", there is no domestic human cases. In China, there were 16 cases of H5N6 influenza in China since 2014, including 6 cases in Guangdong Province, 3 cases in Hunan Province, 2 cases in Yunnan Province, 1 case in Sichuan Province, Anhui Province, Jiangxi Province, Hubei Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Mortality, 69%; more than 八成 with poultry or poultry market exposure history. Current recommendations for the new type of human influenza A travel epidemic recommendations, mainland China Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Anhui Province, Guangdong Province, Fujian Province, Guizhou Province, Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan, Henan, Jiangxi, Shandong, Guangxi Tourism, tourism in Sichuan, Hebei, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Liaoning and Yunnan are listed as the second level: Alert, other provinces (excluding Hong Kong and Macao) as the first level: Watch).
Do not pick up dead birds, chickens, ducks, geese and eggs should be cooked, poultry or eggs should be cleaned, and personal hygiene such as handwashing should be implemented, the Department of Health urged the public to refrain from smuggling and contact with birds. Measures; poultry farm-related staff to strengthen self-protection, such as influenza-like symptoms, should wear a mask as soon as possible for medical treatment. In addition, medical institutions should be vigilant to inquire about the history of influenza-like illness, history of bird exposure, occupational and cluster situation (TOCC), and treatment of influenza antiviral drugs if necessary to reduce the spread of the disease and serious complications . For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the Free Epidemic Prevention Line 1922 (or 0800-001922).