China Confirms Its First Case of Bird Flu

In an alarming development, China has confirmed the world’s first human infection of the H10N3 bird flu strain.

According to a statement by the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC), a 41-year old male resident of the eastern city of Zhenjiang was admitted to the hospital with the symptoms of fever on 28 April. A month later, the patient was diagnosed with H10N3.


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The NHC statement added that the patient is in stable condition and will soon be discharged from the hospital.

All close contacts of the patient, including family and friends, have been kept under close observation by the healthcare authorities and have not developed any symptoms of the infection.

NHC described H10N3 as low pathogenic in poultry and termed the incident as a sporadic case of virus transmission from poultry to humans, adding that the risk of the bird flu strain causing a pandemic is extremely low.

While commenting on the development, Filip Claes, regional laboratory coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases, said that the H10N3 bird flu stain is not a very common virus and no other cases of human infection with H10N3 have previously been reported globally.


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He added that many strains of bird flu are present in China but only some occasionally infect people working at poultry farms.

The last human epidemic of bird flu in China occurred during 2016 and 2017 in which the H7N9 bird flu virus killed 300 people.