China Detects First Human Case of H3N8 Bird Flu

Health officials in China say there is a very low chance that the H3N8 strain of avian flu will spread to people.

After first showing up in North American waterfowl in 2002, H3N8 is thought to have been around for a long time after that. It has been found in horses, dogs, and seals, but not in humans before.

China’s National Health Commission said on Tuesday that a four-year-old boy who lived in central Henan province was found to have the strain. He was taken to the hospital earlier this month with a fever and other symptoms.

NHC: The boy’s family raised chickens at home and lived in an area with a lot of wild ducks.

In this case, the boy was infected by birds, and the strain did not have the ability to “effectively infect humans.”

It also said that tests on the boy’s close friends found “no abnormalities.”

“One-off cross-species transmission” is what the NHC said about the boy’s case. There is little risk of a large-scale spread, though.

However, it told people to stay away from dead or sick birds and get help right away if they had a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Avian influenza is mostly found in wild birds and chickens. Cases of people getting sick from each other are very, very rare.

There have been a lot of cases of people getting sick from avian influenza because of the H5N1 and H7N9 strains of bird flu, which were found in 1997 and 2013, respectively.

This is what the World Health Organization says: People get infections from zoonotic, or animal-borne, influenzas “mostly through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments,” but they don’t spread very well.

Some 160 seals died of pneumonia caused by H3N8 in 2012, which was blamed for their deaths.

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