By J. Jala | 11:19 AM February 03, 2020
Citing China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Reuters reported that an outbreak of a “highly pathogenic strain” of H5N1 happened at a farm in the city of Shaoyang in Hunan.
This latest outbreak comes at a time when China is already grappling with a new coronavirus that has spread across the globe its epicentre in Wuhan city in Hubei province.
The virus has killed more than 300 in China with more than 14,000 cases confirmed in the country.
The farm had 7,850 chickens, of which 4,500 have died due to the bird flu.
Chinese authorities have culled nearly 18,000 poultry following the H5N1 outbreak there.
China is not alone in trying to tamp down the spread of this virus.
Earlier this week authorities in India started culling chickens and destroying eggs to contain the bird flu virus.
And a different strain – the H5N8 virus – has spread throughout eastern Europe in recent weeks.
The H5N1 virus was first detected in 1996 in geese in China, said the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was first detected in humans in 1997, then reemerged in 2003.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), human cases of the H5N1 bird flu “occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person.” If human infections do occur, the mortality rate due to the virus “is about 60%,” the WHO said.