China has reported the world’s first human infection of the H10N3 bird flu strain on Tuesday but the country’s health commission says the risk of it spreading widely among people is low.
According to an online statement by China’s National Health Commission, a 41-year-old man was admitted to hospital with fever symptoms in the eastern city of Zhenjiang on April 28 and was diagnosed with the flu a month later.
The NHC however added that the risk of large-scale spread is extremely low, explaining that the man was in a stable condition and his close contacts had reported no “abnormalities.”
It described the flu whose scientific representation is ‘H10N3’ as low pathogenic — less likely to cause death or severe illness — in birds.
Several strains of bird flu have been found among animals in China but there has never been a human case of H10N3 reported in the world.
The last human epidemic of bird flu in China occurred in late 2016 to 2017, with the H7N9 virus which infected 1,668 people and claimed 616 lives since 2013.
Meanwhile, following recent avian flu outbreaks in Africa and Eurasia, the head of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, George Gau last week urged stricter surveillance in poultry farms, markets and wild birds.
It is however of importance to note that the Coronavirus which is currently a pandemic the world is battling with was first detected at a food and animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.