A man in China has been hospitalized after contracting a strain of avian flu, a state broadcaster reported Thursday. The 55-year-old man tested positive for H5N6, or avian influenza A, in Bazhong City, in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province, the broadcaster said.
The man began showing symptoms of a fever on June 30 and tested positive for the bird flu on July 6. Local authorities have activated an emergency response and have sterilized the area. The broadcaster reported that unidentified experts believe the risk of a large-scale spread of the virus is very low. The report did not provide other details or say whether the man handled poultry as part of his job. The H5N6 virus is one of several potentially dangerous flu versions that scientists have reported finding over the years in poultry flocks or in captured or dead wild birds. It was first detected eight years ago in Laos, and later spread to China and other countries. The World Health Organization reports a total of 32 confirmed cases of H5N6 and 19 deaths in Asia since 2014, with the most recent reported also in China with an onset date of May 13.