China: The National Health Commission of China (NHC) reported, on Tuesday (1), the detection of the first case of avian influenza H10N3 in humans in the country. However, health authorities deny any type of contagion, saying that it is an “accidental” transmission, and that the risk of spreading the virus on a large scale “is extremely low”.
The first human case of infection with the H10N3 strain of avian flu is a 41-year-old farmer in east China’s Jiangsu province. A resident of Zhenjiang City, the patient was hospitalized on April 28 after experiencing fever and other symptoms, the NHC said in a statement.
A month later, the diagnosis of infection with the H10N3 avian influenza virus was confirmed, but no details were released on how the man became infected. Authorities confirm that the patient has a stable condition and should be discharged soon. No case of the disease was found in his close contacts.
About the H10N3 virus
According to experts, the H10N3 virus represents a low pathogenic strain, which means that it is relatively less strong among the avian variants, and has no effective ability to infect humans. “It’s not a very common virus,” says Filip Claes, FAO’s laboratory coordinator at the Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases.
According to Claes, during the last 40 years, about 160 specimens of the virus have been reported, mostly in wild birds and waterfowl. In humans, avian flu strains are uncommon. The last case of epidemic occurred in China in 2016 and 2017, with the H7N9 virus, which infected 1,668 people and killed 616, according to FAO records.