China reports world’s first case of a human infected with H10N3 avian influenza

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China has reported the world’s first case of a human infected with H10N3 avian influenza in its eastern province of Jiangsu. China’s National Health Commission (NHC) confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday. The case, detected in a male aged 41 and living in Zhenjiang, a city in the eastern part of the province, was an occasional poultry-to-human transmission, the NHC statement said. It said that the risk of spreading on a large scale was very low, adding that there hasn’t been any case of human infection of H10N3 reported in the world before.

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a genome sequence on a blood sample from the patient last week and confirmed that it was the H10N3 strain. Local authorities have traced the patient’s contacts and have kept them under medical observation. The NHC statement added that experts assessed that the full genetic analysis of the virus showed that the H10N3 virus was of avian origin.

NHC has advised that people in the region should avoid contact with sick or dead poultry and try to avoid direct contact with live birds. They should pay attention to food hygiene, wear masks, improve self-protection awareness, and check for fever and respiratory symptoms.

In February, China reported an outbreak of H5N8 avian influenza in Lianyungang, a coastal city also in the eastern province of Jiangsu as per the state news agency. In April, a highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu was found in wild birds in Shenyang, a city in northeast China’s Liaoning province. Central China’s Hunan Province confirmed a human infection case of the H5N6 bird flu virus in December 2020 as reported by state run tabloid.