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Published On: Fri, Jun 21st, 2013

Taiwan reports first case of human H6N1 avian influenza

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported the first human case of novel avian-origin influenza A (H6N1) virus in a 20-year-old woman, according to the Taiwan CDC June 21.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

According to Taiwanese health officials, on May 20, 2013, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) received a report from a hospital concerning a case of human infection with unsubtypable influenza A virus in a 20-year-old female presenting mild pneumonia who resides in central Taiwan. The virus isolated from the respiratory specimen from the case was then submitted to Taiwan CDC for further identification.

After conducting whole genome sequencing, the National Influenza Center (NIC) at Taiwan CDC identified the virus to be a novel avian-origin influenza A (H6N1) virus. A total of 36 close contacts of the case have been traced for follow-up.  4 of them experienced influenza-like illness symptoms, but none of them has been found to be infected with influenza A (H6N1) virus.

The investigation revealed that on May 5, she developed symptoms, including fever, cough, headache and muscle ache.  On May 8, when her fever persisted and she developed shortness of breath, she sought medical attention at a hospital and was hospitalized for treatment. Her chest X-ray showed mild pneumonia.  After administering Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), her symptoms improved next day.  On May 11, she was discharged from the hospital.  As of now, she has fully recovered.

She has no history of foreign travel or exposure to poultry or birds.

The agricultural authority has collected specimens from the poultry from the two poultry farms located within the 1-km perimeter of the case’s residence.  No avian influenza A (H6N1) virus has been detected in any of the specimens.

CDC officials say besides this H6N1 strain and the imported H7N9 strain detected in 2013, no other non-H1/H3 subtypes of influenza A viruses have been detected in humans in Taiwan.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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