In China, according to officials, H10N3 bird flu infection has been diagnosed for the first time per person.

A 41-year-old man from Jiangsu province in northwestern Shanghai, east of the country, was hospitalized in late April with fever and other symptoms, the National Health Commission said Tuesday. On May 28, a subtype H10N3 was detected.

According to the authority, this is the first reported infection of the world with this pathogen per person. The risk of widespread spread in humans is low. In poultry, the H10N3 pathogen is low, meaning it causes minor illness.

The path of infection is not clear

The man is in stable condition and is being treated at the hospital. No H10N3 cases were found near him. Apparently, he did not transmit the virus to others. The health commission did not say how the man may have been infected.

There are several bird flu viruses, also known as bird flu. There are many different types in China and human infections occur occasionally, usually in poultry. Most recently, people were most severely affected in 2016/17. At that time, about 300 people infected with H3N9 died.

However, basically: “Bird flu viruses rarely infect people,” he writes American Health Institute CDC. The most commonly identified subtypes of bird flu that cause infections in humans are the H5, H7 and H9 viruses. Other viruses, such as H10N3 and H10N7, which are closely related to H10N3, have so far been less commonly detected in humans.

Not yet established in humans for a long time

In February 2021, cases of bird flu virus H5N8 in humans were first reported in Russia. Seven workers at a poultry farm in the south of the country were affected in December. They all had a slight incline.

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“Avian influenza viruses have been known to infect humans since 1997,” Frederick Lofler chairman Thomas Mettenleiter told Spiegel in February about the epidemic in Russia. “However, so far, none of these bird flu viruses have been able to progress from person to person effectively for a long time.”

In particular, those in close contact with chickens are at risk of jumping above the bird flu viruses, the expert said. Anyone working with chickens should take appropriate safety precautions; Dead chicken, for example, should not be touched with bare hands. (Read the full interview here.)


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