First Human Case Of H10N3 Bird Flu Confirmed In China
China has reported the first human case of the H10N3 strain of bird flu.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) confirmed the news today, June 1, that a Zhenjiang resident had been hospitalised at the end of April.
However, it wasn’t until four weeks after his hospital admission that he was diagnosed with the H10N3 avian influenza virus on Friday, May 28.
Details on how the man contracted the virus have not been given, but it has been reported that the virus has not been spread to those close to the individual in question, Reuters reports.
H10N3 is said to be less severe strain of the virus, typically found in poultry, and has limited chances of being spread on a national scale, according to the NHC.
However, for safety precautions, people in the region have been advised to avoid contact with sick or dead poultry, as well as to try and avoid contact with live birds.
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, said that it’s ‘not a very common virus’.
As of 2018, there had only been 160 reports of the virus in birds. These cases were mainly found in wild birds or waterfowl in Asia and some limited parts of North America, according to Claes, and not in chickens.
The most prominent strain of bird flu was H6N9, which is thought to have killed around 300 people in China between 2016 and 2017. Meanwhile, there have been no other cases of H10N3 affecting humans.
There are other strains of avian influenza in China, but these are also thought to largely be a concern for birds rather than humans.
As per Hindustan Times, H5N8 is another strain of bird flu that’s been detected in China, and is described as ‘highly lethal to wild birds and poultry’ but low-risk to humans, news agency Xinhua said at the time.
Another strain, known as H5N6, was discovered in north-east China’s Shenyang city in April.
While humans contracting strains of bird flu is extremely rare, the NHS advises people do the following if visiting a country that’s had an outbreak: wash your hands often with warm water and soap, especially before and after handling food, in particular raw poultry; use different utensils for cooked and raw meat; make sure meat is cooked until steaming hot; and to avoid contact with live birds and poultry.
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