The National Health Commission of Beijing said Tuesday that a 41-year-old man in east China’s Jiangsu Province has been confirmed as the first human case of a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3.
There are many different strains of bird flu in China and some of them infect people sporadically, usually poultry. There is no indication that H10N3 can spread easily between humans.
The health commission said the man, a resident of Zhenjiang city, was hospitalized on April 28 and diagnosed with H10N3 virus on May 28. No details were given of how the man was injured.
His condition is now stable and he is ready to be discharged from the hospital. The commission said an investigation into his close contacts had revealed no other cases. She added that no other human cases of H10N3 have been reported globally.
The committee added that the H10N3 virus is low pathogenicity, which means that it causes relatively less serious disease in poultry and is unlikely to cause a large-scale outbreak.
The strain is not a ‘common virus’
The World Health Organization, in response to Reuters in Geneva, said, “The source of the patient’s exposure to the H10N3 virus is currently unknown, and no other cases have been found in emergency surveillance among the local population. At the moment, there is no indication of human-to-human transmission. to a human being.”
“As long as avian influenza viruses circulate in poultry, sporadic incidence of avian influenza in humans is not surprising, and is a strong reminder that the risk of an influenza pandemic persists,” the WHO added.
The strain is “not a very common virus,” said Philip Claes, regional laboratory coordinator at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases in the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
Claes said analysis of the virus’s genetic data would be necessary to determine if it was similar to ancient viruses or if it was a new mixture of different viruses.
There have been no significant numbers of human infections with bird flu since the H7N9 strain that killed about 300 people during 2016-2017.