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The First Ever Case of Bird Flu in a Human Reported in China

The First Ever Case of Bird Flu in a Human Reported in China

The patient's close contacts were also screened for traces of the virus, but no other cases were found.

The first case of a human infected with a rare bird flu strain, also known as the H10N3 avian influenza, has been reported in China. The announcement was made by China's National Health Commission (NHC) on June 1, reports BBC. The first case was reported in a 41-year-old man in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu who showed signs of fever and other symptoms on April 23.

On April 28, he was admitted to a hospital to be treated, and a month later, on May 28, he was diagnosed with H10N3. However, details of how he may have been infected haven't been disclosed, but the NHC did mention that the man is now doing well and is ready to be discharged.

The patient's close contacts were also screened for traces of the virus, but no other cases were found, the NHC said. Globally, too, this is the only reported case, the organization added. H10N3 is low pathogenic, which means the disease will be relatively less severe in poultry and is unlikely to result in a large-scale outbreak.



 

The World Health Organization (WHO) told the Reuters news agency that "at this time, there is no indication of human-to-human transmission. As long as avian influenza viruses circulate in poultry sporadic infection of avian influenza in humans is not surprising, which is a vivid reminder that the threat of an influenza pandemic is persistent," the WHO explained.

The strain is "not a very common virus", said Filip Claes, regional laboratory coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization's Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases at the regional office for Asia and the Pacific.

In February this year, Russian authorities reported the first known cases of an avian influenza virus called H5N8 that passes from poultry to humans. According to Live Science, seven workers at a poultry plant reportedly had traces of this strain, but there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. This means that the virus spread directly from birds to the workers and did not spread from the workers to other humans.

Anna Popova, head of consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, reported the cases to the WHO as well. People infected with the H5N8 virus "were asymptomatic and no onward human-to-human transmission was reported," the WHO spokesperson confirmed, according to Reuters.



 

Most cases of bird flu reported over the years have been because of people coming in direct contact with infected live or dead poultry. It doesn't spread through properly cooked food, though.

References: 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57326075

http://www.nhc.gov.cn/yjb/s3578/202106/e6b795e7ba3a41b2914e3ed270ff6078.shtml

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/china-reports-human-case-h10n3-bird-flu-2021-06-01/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-birdflu-russia/russia-reports-worlds-first-case-of-human-infection-with-h5n8-bird-flu-idUSKBN2AK0DU

https://www.livescience.com/h5n8-avian-flu-russia.html

Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Peter Garrard Beck

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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