SNO – As if the dreaded coronavirus is not enough, China on Saturday has reported an outbreak of the H5NI bird flu at a chicken farm.
The highly pathogenic strain of bird flu was reported in Hunan Province, which neighbors the coronavirus-hit province of Hubei.
China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said that 4,500 chickens had died at a farm in the city of Shaoyang.
Authorities have culled about 17,800 birds to prevent the spread of the disease.
The H5N1 type of bird flu virus is known to infect humans and cause serious symptoms.
The World Health Organization said while H5N1 can be transmitted to humans, typically through contact with dead birds or a contaminated environment, it is rare in humans.
“The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual,” the WHO said. “There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and thoroughly cooked food.”
According to WHO, the mortality rate in humans is 60%.
The news emerged as the world is on high alert for the coronavirus, which originated in China and has spread to over 17 countries.