China confirms the first known human case of the H3N8 strain of bird flu

chicken farm

China has confirmed the first known human case of the H3N8 strain of bird flu on April 26, 2022.

According to China’s National Health Commission, a four-year-old boy living in central Henan province tested positive for the strain after being hospitalized earlier this month with a fever and other symptoms.

NHC said the boy’s family raised chickens at home and lived in an area populated by wild ducks, adding that the boy was infected directly by birds and the strain was not found to have the ability to effectively infect humans.1

Tests on the boy’s close human contacts found no abnormalities.

NHC said the case was a one-off cross-species transmission and the risk of large-scale transmission is low.

Whole-genome sequence analyses indicate that the H3N8 virus in this human case is a reassortant, with genes from viruses that have been detected previously in poultry and wild birds, said Nicola Lewis, an influenza expert at the Royal Veterinary College in Britain.2

Reference:

1 China detects first human case of H3N8 bird flu – AFP – April 27, 2022

2 China reports first human case of H3N8 bird flu – Reuters – April 27, 2022

Featured image credit: Kashif Mardani

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