China has reported a case of H5N1 avian influenza on a poultry farm in the Hunan province.
Authorities said the highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 had killed 4,500 birds on a farm with a flock of 7,850 birds. Further culling of some 18,000 took place to try to contain the disease’s spread.
China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced the outbreak, close to Shaoyang City, on Saturday, according to news agency Reuters.
The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual,” - WHO.
H5N1 can spread to humans and, if infected, mortality can be as high as 60%, according to the World Health Organisation.
Since 2003, it has killed 455 people worldwide.
Despite the risk, it is not easy for H5N1 to infect humans. “Almost all cases of H5N1 infection in people have been associated with close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments. The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual,” added the WHO.