A 41-year-old man in the Chinese province of Jiangsu has been confirmed as being the first human to be infected with the H10N3 strain of bird flu. Chinese authorities state this is the first report of a human infection with H10N3. On Tuesday China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said the man was hospitalised after showing signs of fever and other health complications.
The man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, was diagnosed as having H10N3 avian influenza on May 28.
Chinese authorities have yet to give details as to how and where the man became infected with the pathogen.
Chinese health officials have so far stated that the H10N3 is a relatively less severe strain of the bird flu virus.
However, the man has been in hospital since late April and his close contacts have been placed on observation.
Scientists suggest that the H10N3 version of the bird flu pathogen is a different strain than the deadly H7N9 version that killed around 300 people during 2016-2017.
Human infections with the deadly H7N9 version of the Bird Flu virus were first reported in China in March 2013.
Localised epidemics of sporadic human infections with Asian H7N9 viruses in China have been reported since that time.
The symptoms of bird flu include a high fever and a cough.
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The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that the current risk to the public’s health posed by Asian H7N9 virus is low.
However, the CDC has stated that the pandemic potential of the H7N9 version of the virus is “concerning”.
The CDC states: “H7N9 virus is rated by the Influenza Risk Assessment Tool as having the greatest potential to cause a pandemic, as well as potentially posing the greatest risk to severely impact public health if it were to achieve sustained human-to-human transmission.”
No epidemiological studies have been made of the latest H10N3 variant that has infected the Chinese man in Jiangsu province.