China reported the world’s first human infection of the H10N3 bird flu strain on Tuesday but said the risk of it spreading widely among people was low.
A 41-year-old man in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3, Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC) has said. The man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, was hospitalized on April 28 and diagnosed with H10N3 on May 28, the health commission said on Tuesday, adding that his condition is stable. It did not give details on how the man was infected but said investigation of his close contacts found no other cases and the risk of spread was very low.
At present, the man is in stable condition and is all ready to be discharged from the hospital. So far we don’t have evidence of human to the human potential at this stage as his close contacts are not tested positive. Many different strains of avian influenza are present in China and some sporadically infect people, usually those working with poultry farms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said while the source of the patient’s exposure to the H10N3 virus was not Known and there were no other cases found among the local people, and also there was no indication of human to human transmission yet.
The last human epidemic of bird flu in China occurred from late 2016 to 2017, with the H7N9 virus. The H7N9 has infected 1,668 people and claimed 616 lives since 2013, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization
At this stage, experts are still trying to figure out why bird flu makes humans so sick. We know some bird flu can grow not only in the nose, throat and lungs (where most human flu grow) but all over the body (because the bit that attaches to cells (HA) is slightly different). There is also the idea that your immune system overreacts and produces more of the chemicals to fight the virus than is healthy for your body and the bird flu viruses have not adapted to control them as they have in birds. The good news is it really hard for a bird virus to infect humans, there are lots of bird flu out there, but very few have jumped into humans. When they change from the flu that spreads from a bird to a bird to the flu that spreads from a human to a human, there is some evidence that those changes can cause the virus to be less harmful.