More than a dozen versions of bird flu have been identified until now, including two well-known strains that have most recently infected humans: H5N1 and H7N9. But a new danger emerges as the first human case of infection with the H10N3 strain of bird flu has been confirmed by China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Tuesday.
The person in question is a 41-year-old man from China’s eastern province of Jiangsu, as Reuters reveals. After dealing with a fever and other symptoms, the man was hospitalized on April 28 and was diagnosed with the H10N3 avian influenza virus a month later.
No details for how the infection occurred
Although there’s no telling how the man from Jiangsu got the virus, close contacts were observed, raising concerns about the spread of the disease. But so far, no additional human cases of the H10N3 bird flu were found.
Filip Claes, who is regional laboratory coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases from the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, reveals that the H10N3 strain is not a too common virus. However, there are no serious reasons to panic just yet. The potential of the H10N3 strain to spread over a wide area is relatively low, and the virus itself is less severe than other strains.
The H5N1 virus, on the other hand, is the best-known strain of bird flu. The virus has the potential of causing severe flu and a high mortality rate. However, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals, transmission between humans is rare. The first case of the H5N1 virus was found in 1996 in China in geese. The first human cases of infection with the Asian H5N1 were detected in 1997 during a poultry outbreak from Hong Kong. The virus was then detected in poultry and wild birds in over 50 countries from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.