China confirms the world’s first human case of H10N3 avian flu but says it is very unlikely the population will spread widely
China reported the world’s first human infection with avian flu strain H10N3 on Tuesday, but said the risk of spreading it widely among humans was small.
A 41-year-old man was admitted to hospital in eastern Zhenjiang City with symptoms of fever on April 28 and was diagnosed with H10N3 a month later, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in an online statement.
“The risk of widespread spread is extremely low,” said the NHC, adding that the man was in a stable condition and that his close contacts had not reported any “abnormalities”.
No information was given about the man’s illness.
It described H10N3 as less pathogenic – less likely to cause death or serious illness – in birds.
The NHC said no cases of H10N3 in humans have been reported worldwide.
Several strains of bird flu have been found in animals in China, but mass outbreaks in humans are rare.
The last human bird flu epidemic in China occurred in late 2016 to 2017 with the H7N9 virus.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the H7N9 has infected 1,668 people and claimed 616 lives since 2013.
Following the recent avian flu outbreaks in Africa and Eurasia, the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention last week called for stricter surveillance of poultry farms, markets and wild birds.
COVID-19 was first discovered in late 2019 at a food and animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.