BEIJING – A 41-year-old man in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3, the National Health Commission of China announced on Tuesday. China (NHC).
Many different strains of bird flu are found in China, and some infect people sporadically, usually those who work with poultry.
There is no indication that H10N3 can easily be spread in humans.
The man, a resident of Zhenjiang City, was hospitalized on April 18 and diagnosed with H10N3 on May 28, the health commission said. He did not give details of how the man was infected.
He is now stable and ready for release. Investigations into his close contacts have found no further cases, the NHC said. No other cases of human infection with H10N3 have been reported worldwide, he added.
H10N3 is low pathogenic, which means it causes relatively less severe disease in poultry and is unlikely to cause a full-scale epidemic, the NHC added.
The strain is “not a very common virus,” said Filip Claes, regional laboratory coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases at the regional office for the Asia and the Pacific.
Only around 160 isolates of the virus have been reported in the last 40 years up to 2018, mostly in wild birds or waterfowl in Asia and some limited areas of North America, and none had been detected until 2018. ‘now in chickens, he added.
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Analysis of the virus’s genetic data will be needed to determine whether it looks like older viruses or if it is a new mix of different viruses, Claes said.
There have been no significant numbers of human infections with bird flu since the H7N9 strain killed around 300 people in 2016-2017.