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Previous story China confirms first human case of H10N3 bird flu strain Next story
Published on June 2, 2021 2:58 AM

by Reuters in Beijing

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Man, 41, in Jiangsu, diagnosed on 28 May but risk of avian virus spread is low, says state health agency All you need to know about first human case of H10N3 bird flu in China
 
A 41-year-old man in China's eastern province of Jiangsu has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with the H10N3 strain of bird flu, although health officials in China said the risk of large-scale spread remained low.

The man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, went to the hospital on 28 April after developing a fever and other symptoms, China's national health commission said.

He was diagnosed as having the H10N3 avian influenza virus on 28 May, the commission said though it did not give details about how the man had been infected with the virus. The man was stable and ready to be discharged from the hospital. Medical observation of his close contacts had not found any other cases.

H10N3 is a low pathogenic, or relatively less severe, the strain of the virus found in poultry, and the risk of it spreading on a large scale is very low, the commission added.

The strain was "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 Asia and Pacific regional office. Only about 160 isolates of the virus were reported in the 40 years to 2018, mostly in wild birds or waterfowl in Asia and some limited areas of North America, and none had been detected in chickens so far, Claes said...


Background

What do we know about H10N3 bird flu?

The NHC said that H10N3 is a low pathogenic, or relatively less severe, the strain of the virus in poultry and the risk of it spreading on a large scale was very low.

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.

He added that only around 160 isolates of the virus were reported in the 40 years to 2018, mostly in wild birds or waterfowl in Asia and some limited parts of North America, and none had been detected in chickens so far.

Claes said that analysing the genetic data of the virus will be necessary to determine whether it resembles older viruses or if it is a novel mix of different viruses.

The NHC statement also said that experts assessed that the full genetic analysis of the virus showed that the H10N3 virus was of avian origin.

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a genome sequence on a blood sample from the patient last week and confirmed that it was the H10N3 strain.

Steps to prevent the spread of avian influenza

  • Experts have advised that people in the region should avoid contact with sick or dead poultry, and try to avoid direct contact with live birds.
  • The NHC advised that the people should pay attention to food hygiene, wear masks, improve self-protection awareness and check for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Several strains of avian influenza present in China

Many different strains of avian influenza are present in China and some sporadically infect people, usually those working with poultry. There have been no significant numbers of human infections with bird flu since the H7N9 strain killed around 300 people during 2016-2017.

The NHC further said that no other cases of human infection with H10N3 have previously been reported globally.