China has reported the world’s first case of human infection with the bird flu after a person in the country’s eastern Jiangsu province reported symptoms of the H10N3 avian influenza, China’s National Health Commission said on Tuesday. The patient, a 41-year-old man from Zhenjiang city, is currently in a stable condition and meets discharge standards, the state-run CGTN TV reported.
Chinese health authorities played down the bird flu outbreak, saying the case was a sporadic virus transmission from poultry to humans, and the risk of causing a pandemic was extremely low.
The patient was diagnosed as having the H10N3 avian influenza virus on May 28, National Health Commission said in a statement without elaborating on how the man had got infected with the virus.
So far, it is the only case of human infection with the H10N1 strain of bird flu. No other case has been previously reported globally.
H10N3 is a low pathogenic or relatively less severe strain of the virus in poultry and the risk of it spreading on a large scale is very low. There are many different strains of avian influenza in China and some sporadically infect people, generally those working with poultry.
H5N8 is a subtype of the Influenza A virus (also known as the bird flu virus). While H5N8 only presents a low risk to humans, it is highly lethal to wild birds and poultry.
In April, a highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu was found in wild birds in northeast China’s Shenyang city.