China reports first human case of H3N8 bird flu (Full Details)
Avian influenza occurs mainly in wild birds and poultry. Cases of transmission between humans are extremely rare
China confirmed its first human case of the H3N8 strain of bird flu on Wednesday. According to China’s National Health Commission, a four-year-old boy living in central Henan province tested positive for the strain after being hospitalised with a fever and other symptoms. The boy’s family raised chickens at home and lived in an area populated by wild ducks, China’s NHC said in a statement. The NHC said the boy’s case was a “one-off cross-species transmission, and the risk of large-scale transmission is low”.
Avian influenza occurs mainly in wild birds and poultry. Cases of transmission between humans are extremely rare.
Last year, China reported the first human case of H10N3 bird flu.
Many different strains of bird flu are present in China and some sporadically infect people, usually those working with poultry.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the H5N1 and H7N9 strains of bird flu, detected in 1997 and 2013, respectively, have been responsible for most cases of human illness from avian influenza.
Human infections of zoonotic, or animal-borne, influenzas are “primarily acquired through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments, but do not result in the efficient transmission of these viruses between people”, according to the World Health Organisation.
In 2012, H3N8 was blamed for the deaths of more than 160 seals off the northeastern coast of the United States after it caused deadly pneumonia in the animals.