Taiwan Reports First Human Case of H6N1 Avian-Flu Strain

Taiwan health authorities said a local woman was found with H6N1 avian influenza, the first ever reported infection of the viral strain in a person.

A 20-year-old woman from Central Taiwan started showing flu symptoms including fever, cough and muscle pain on May 5 and sought hospital treatment on May 8, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control said in a statement on its website today. She was given Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu medicine and was discharged from the hospital May 11.

Authorities were notified of the case on May 20, the agency said. Whole genome sequencing later found the virus to be a novel H6N1 strain of avian influenza, it said.

The patient, who works at a breakfast stand, hasn’t traveled overseas or been exposed to poultry or birds, the agency said. A total of 36 close contacts have been identified with four experiencing flu-like symptoms, though none were found to be infected with the H6N1 strain, it said. Health and agricultural authorities in Taiwan will continue their surveillance.