Date
21 July 2017
There have been 16 confirmed human cases of H5N6 infections worldwide since the virus was identified in 2014, all of which were from mainland China. Photo: Bloomberg
There have been 16 confirmed human cases of H5N6 infections worldwide since the virus was identified in 2014, all of which were from mainland China. Photo: Bloomberg

Govt dismisses avian flu rumors

The Center of Health Protection (CHP) is denying any outbreak of human infection from the H5N6 avian flu virus in Hong Kong.

This comes after online rumors that the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital has held urgent meetings to discuss the risk of an outbreak, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

A recording being circulated on WhatsApp said the death rate from the H5N6 virus is as high as 60 percent.

It urged people to wear masks and refrain from visiting mainland China.

On Monday, CHP and Hong Kong Sanatorium said the rumors are not true.

Meanwhile, United Christian Hospital confirmed that two patients who died of pneumonia recently had visited Guangdong.

It said test results on the patients came back negative for influenza A and B viruses.

There have been 16 confirmed human cases of H5N6 infections worldwide since the virus was identified in 2014, all of which were from mainland China.

Eleven of the patients have died but there is no evidence that H5N6 is human-to-human infection.

In mainland China, 355 cases of H7N9 have been reported between November last year and February 13, according to CHP.

Poultry Wholesalers Association chairman Tsui Ming-tuen said they will cooperate with the government in its tests for avian flu viruses.

A chicken stall in Prince Edward has recorded a 40 percent drop in business because of the rumors, SkyPost reported.

In Taiwan, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine reported that the H5N6 virus might have spread to other poultry like geese.

The Taipei Zoo has increased preventive measures and stopped all wild bird rescues. All birds and poultry in the park have been limited to activity within the park to prevent infections.

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