China Reports First H5N6 Bird Flu on Poultry Farm in Sichuan

February 10, 2020 Updated: February 10, 2020

An outbreak of the H5N6 bird flu has been reported by regime officials in China’s Sichuan province and is separate from the coronavirus outbreak that has prompted lockdowns in other parts of the country.

It is the first H5N6 avian flu detected on a poultry farm after four cases were discovered in swans earlier this year in Xinjiang, Reuters reported.

The ministry said on Sunday night that 1,840 of 2,497 birds died on the farm, reported Reuters. The remainder of the birds were culled to prevent the spread of the virus.

There were no cases of human infection reported by the ministry, according to Taiwan News.

In January, the agricultural ministry said 19 swans were killed by the illness in a reservoir inhabited by about 150 birds, according to Reuters.

H5N6 can cause severe illness in people, but cases are rare even inside mainland China. The regime has reported a total of 24 confirmed cases to the World Health Organization since 2014, including seven people who died, reported Taiwan News, citing WHO data.

Earlier this month, China’s Hunan Province reported an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu, which also left thousands of birds dead or culled, on a farm.

The country’s ministry of agriculture said on Feb. 2 that 18,000 chickens were culled in Shaoyang, Hunan province. But that came after some 4,500 chickens were sickened and died, amounting to more than half the flock on the farm at the source of the outbreak.

The strain of influenza was the “poultry H5N1 subtype” of the “highly pathogenic bird flu,” its statement read.

The H5N1 avian flu has killed hundreds of people across the world since 2003, according to data from the WHO (pdf).

It comes as the municipal government in Shanghai announced Feb. 10 that 13,000 residential districts in the city are now in “seal-off management” due to the coronavirus threat, according to the government’s Weibo account. Registration is now required for any persons entering and leaving these districts.

People returning from Chinese areas severely affected by the virus are required to be put in isolation for 14 days.

Officials in Beijing announced similar measures to curb the spreading of coronavirus. One measure involves “seal-off management” of residential districts and villages. Local residents and locally-registered vehicles can enter residential areas only with proper identification. Non-locals and their vehicles are forbidden from entering.

“Strict centralized isolation” will be enforced and the local public security bureau will step in to enforce the isolation measure for people who fail to comply, the announcement notice said.