China reports human case of H10N3 bird flu
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Tuesday confirmed the first known case of a person contracting the H10N3 strain of bird flu.
As Reuters reports, the NHC stated that the patient was a man who lived in the city of Zhenjiang in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu. He was hospitalized on April 28 after developing a fever and other symptoms. He was diagnosed a month later with the H10N3 avian influenza virus.
It is unclear how he contracted the virus, and no other cases among his close contacts have been reported.
The man was stable and ready to be discharged, Reuters reports.
According to the NHC, the H10N3 strain is a less severe variant and the risk of it spreading on a large scale is low.
Filip Claes, regional laboratory coordinator four the United Nation’s Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases, told Reuters that the H10N3 strain was “not a very common virus.”
Claes noted that only around 160 strains of the virus were reported in the 40 years before 2018 and most were reported wild birds in Asia and some areas of North America.
There are many strains of bird flu in China, with sporadic infections usually occurring in people who work in the poultry industry, Reuters notes. Since the H7N9 strain that killed about 300 people from 2016 to 2017, there have been no other significant human infections of bird flu.