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Taiwan issues travel alert for Sichuan after human infection of H5N6

2014/05/06 20:05:38

Taipei, May 6 (CNA) Taiwan issued a travel warning for Sichuan Province in China Tuesday after Chinese authorities confirmed the southwestern province has seen the world's first recorded human infection of H5N6 avian flu.

"People traveling to Sichuan should take precautions for their health and refrain from coming into contact with fowl, either live or dead," said Chuang Jen-hsiang, deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC has upped its travel alert for Sichuan to level 2 on its three-level scale.

A 49-year-old man infected with the H5N6 strain died earlier Tuesday in Sichuan, Chuang said, citing China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The man, who died of acute severe pneumonia, was exposed to poultry that died of the illness, he said.

H5N6 is a low-pathogenic bird flu virus found between 1984 and 2013 in Germany, Sweden and the United States.

Taiwan's Council of Agriculture detected the virus in 2004 in bird feces at a Taipei nature preserve that is home to migratory birds, but H5N6 has never been found in locally raised poultry, according to Chuang.

(By James Lee)