A man in China has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with the rare strain of bird flu, H10N3, according to local health authorities.
Many different strains of bird flu are present in China and some sporadically infect people, usually those working with poultry. There is no indication that H10N3 can spread easily in humans.
The man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, was hospitalized on April 28 and diagnosed with H10N3 on May 28, the health commission said. It did not give details on how the man was infected.
H10N3 is low pathogenic, which means it causes relatively less severe disease in poultry and is unlikely to cause a large-scale outbreak, the NHC added.
The World Health Organization (WHO), in a reply to Reuters in Geneva, said: “The source of the patient’s exposure to the H10N3 virus is not known at this time, and no other cases were found in emergency surveillance among the local population. At this time, there is no indication of human-to-human transmission. “As long as avian influenza viruses circulate in poultry, sporadic infection of avian influenza in humans is not surprising, which is a vivid reminder that the threat of an influenza pandemic is persistent,” the WHO added.