First patient to survive new bird flu strain discharged from hospital in China

World Today

China is fighting another bird flu outbreak. Recently, a new strain of the virus began to pose a risk to humans: H5N6. Chinese medics cured a patient of this new strain in South China’s Guangdong province for the first time. CCTV’s Wu Lei reported from Guangzhou, China.

First patient to survive new bird flu strain discharged from hospital in China

China is fighting another bird flu outbreak. Recently, a new strain of the virus began to pose a risk to humans: H5N6. Chinese medics cured a patient of this new strain in South China's Guangdong province for the first time. CCTV's Wu Lei reported from Guangzhou, China.

The outbreak of avian flu around several provinces in Southern China is seeing more cases of human infection. South China’s Guangdong province registered 28 cases of H7N9 in total since November of last year. Among them, 25 were discovered in January.

Guangdong is on alert for the H5N6 strain of bird flu. On Friday, the Guangdong Health department confirmed that a man by the name of Mr. Qiu succumbed to fever after after buying a live chicken in December. He was diagnosed with the virus several days after.

This is the world’s second case of the virus, which killed one other person in Sichuan province in May 2014.

“We used anti-influenza drugs. The patient was firstly treated in Qifu hospital with medicine,” Dr. Zhong Nanshan, health expert of Chinese Academy of Engineering, said. “After transferring into the first affiliated hospital of Guangzhou medical university, we doubled the dosage.”

Mr. Qiu is now in stable condition following days of treatment at the hospital, but doctors are cautious. They said most bird flu cases in humans stem from exposure to infected poultry. The H7N9 bird flu has already drawn widespread concern in several provinces and municipalities in Southern China, as reported cases of human infections climb.

“Most of these patients are now in critical condition. They all had close contact with live poultry in the market,” He Jianfeng, chief expert of Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said.

In addition to Guangdong, Shanghai and Jiangsu along the eastern Chinese coast have all reported human cases of H7N9. Dr. Zhong Nanshan said residents should take more precautions.

“If anyone incurs fever or cough after having close contact with the live poultry, we call this one a highly suspected case. Early medical treatment is desperately needed,” he said.

Doctors said early detection of the H5N6 virus strain is key to more efficient quarantine and successful treatment of the virus.