EghtesadOnline: No cases of human infection with the H5N6 strain of avian flu have been reported in Iran yet, Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, the director-general for communicable diseases at the Health Ministry announced.
According to Gouya, the H5N6 strain infecting humans has only been reported in China, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The World Health Organization said between 2 and 8 February, one case of human infection with H5N6 strain of avian influenza was reported in the Western Pacific region. The previous such case had been reported on December 1, 2016. A total of 16 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with influenza A (H5N6) virus, including six deaths, have been reported to WHO from China since 2014.
Gouya said relevant organizations, including Agriculture Ministry, Iran Veterinary Organization, Department of Environment and the Health Ministry are working hard to stop the virus from spreading in the shortest possible time, Financial Tribune reported.
“All people who have been dealing with poultry, those involved in collecting and culling, have been taken into special care, vaccinated and received prophylaxis. Luckily, no one has shown any symptoms of the virus so far,” he said.
He strongly urged people not to hunt or have contact with wild birds, alive or dead.
As Mehr News Agency reported earlier, the new H5N6 strain reported in northern Iran is transmittable to humans and beginning to spread to other regions. It has led to the death of 1,500 ducks within 10 days in Iran’s northern Gilan Province.
Avian flu outbreak from H5N8 was reported in Iranian poultry farms a few months back, leading to the cull of some 25 million chicken and inflicting losses in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars. According to World Health Organization, although human infection with this strain cannot be excluded, the likelihood is low.