First Human Case of H10N3 Bird Flu in the World Reported in China
A 41-year-old man from Zhenjiang, China is the first man in the world to be infected by the H10N3 strain of bird flu
The first human case of infection from the H10N3 strain of bird flu has been identified in China, reported Reuters.
The announcement was made by China's National Health Commission on Tuesday.
The affected, a 41 year old man, is a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, and was diagnosed with H10N3 bird flu after he was hospitalised for fever and other symptoms that persisted for over a month.
No details have been released on how he might have been infected.
The H10N3 Strain of Bird Flu
H10N3 is one of many strains of bird flu that have been identified so far. However, this is the first noted instance of it infecting humans.
According to the China's National Health Commission, the H10N3 strain is a low pathogenic, which means it is less likely to induce disease.
Although, according to the US CDC, the 'low' and 'high' pathogenicity in avian flu refers to the virus's potential to kill poultry and is not necessarily a marker for how infectious it is in humans.
A number of different strains of bird flu are generally present in the environment, but they rarely or only sporadically affect humans.
What Is Avian Flu?
Avian influenza or bird flu refers to illness caused by Avian influenza type A viruses.
These viruses naturally occur in wildlife but can also affect domestic poultry and birds.
According to the US CDC, avian influenza viruses rarely infect people, but sporadic infections do occur.
How does it spread?
In people, bird flu is generally transmitted from infected birds.
This means people who work closely with poultry, and come in contact with sick birds, are at a higher risk of getting infected.
So far the spread of bird flu from one infected person to another has been extremely rare.
Moreover, till date, no evidence indicates that anyone has become infected following the consumption of properly cooked poultry or poultry products, even when these foods were contaminated with the avian influenza virus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has maintained that it is ‘safe’ to eat chicken and eggs as long as it is ‘properly prepared and cooked’.
What Are the Symptoms of Bird Flu?
Much like other types of flu, common symptoms of bird flu in humans include,
- Muscle ache
- sore throat
But, considering this is the first case of infection caused by the H10N3 strain, further observation and study will be required to determine if this particular strain causes any other specific symptoms.
(Written with inputs from Reuters.)
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