Both infections occurred earlier this month, the report said.
According to authorities, it is still unclear how the man, who became ill on January 3, became infected, but the woman developed symptoms on January 6 after being exposed to poultry. slaughtered.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said earlier this month a person living in the South West of England also contracted bird flu after being in frequent contact with a large number of infected poultry.
H5N6 was first detected in humans in 2014, and since then 67 cases have been detected – all but one in China. However, the rate seems to be increasing: more than half of human infections have been reported in the past six months, including four so far this year.
“It’s been a bad year for bird flu in general, (but it’s not really clear why,” Ian Jones, professor of virology at the University of Reading, told The Telegraph.
He said an increase in H5N6 “could signal a change that makes it more contagious to humans”, though stressed he has yet to see any evidence of human-to-human transmission. .
“So it seems to be a classic bird flu epidemic, not a harbinger of anything worse,” he said. “But it needs to see.”
Although the virus mainly affects birds, it occasionally infects humans, especially those in close contact with poultry, and has a mortality rate as high as 50%.
The World Organization for Animal Health (or OIE) says it has seen a significant increase in reports of various subtypes – including H5N1, H5N6 and H5N8 – being found in more than 40 countries.
A spokesman for the World Health Department added: “Whenever avian influenza viruses circulate in poultry, there is a risk of sporadic and sporadic human transmission through contact with infected poultry. infected or contaminated environment Organization.