Bird flu: China sees first human case of rare H10N3 strain
A 41-year-old Chinese man has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with a rare bird flu strain.
Officials did not give details on how the man got infected but the H10N3 strain is thought to not easily spread from humans to humans.
The Jiangsu province resident, who was diagnosed last week, has now recovered and is ready to be discharged.
There are many bird flu strains and it is not unheard of that people working with poultry occasionally get infected.
Contract tracing did not find any other cases of the virus.
Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Tuesday the resident of the city of Zhenjiang was hospitalized on 28 April and diagnosed with H10N3 one month later.
“No human cases of H10N3 have been reported in the world. This case is an occasional poultry-to-human cross-species transmission, and the risk of a large-scale spread is extremely low,” the NHC said, according to a Global Times report.
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“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 commission also said H10N3 was low pathogenic meaning it did not cause severe diseases in poultry and was unlikely to spread rapidly.
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.
There is currently an outbreak among birds of a the H5N8 variant which has led to hundreds of thousands of poultry culled in various European countries.
In February, Russia reported the first case of that particular strain in humans.
Human infections with bird flu have been rare since a larger outbreak of the H7N9 strained killed around 300 people in 2016 and 2017.