China Reports First Human Case of H10N3 Strain
Chinese health authorities have disclosed that a 41-year-old man contracted a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3. The man had been in the hospital since late April, marking the first reported human case of the strain. The National Health Commission stated that the man developed a fever and other symptoms on April 23 and was admitted to a hospital in the Jiangsu province five days later. The man is now in stable condition and was ready to be discharged. The health commission did not offer specific details as to how the man came into contact with the virus and was able to become infected. Cases of bird flu in humans have most commonly been reported among those in close daily contact with poultry. The commission has not advised the public to avoid sick and dead poultry.
The bird flu, also referred to as Avian influenza, can be fatal in humans. Strains such as HrN1 that are highly pathogenic can have a mortality rate of 60%. The bird flu does not spread easily from birds to people, however. China has witnessed several outbreaks of bird flu, including one that coincided with the coronavirus outbreak last year when H5N1 killed 4,500 chickens in the central Hunan province. The outbreak prompted authorities to cull nearly 18,000 birds to prevent the further spread of the virus. In May, the H5N8 strain killed hundreds of wild birds in Tibet as well.