China reported its First Death from Bird Flu H3N8

World | April 12, 2023, Wednesday // 12:11
Bulgaria: China reported its First Death from Bird Flu H3N8 @Pixabay

China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) that a woman infected with H3N8 bird flu had died last month, DPA and Reuters reported.

This is only the third known case of human infection and the first fatality from this strain of bird flu.

The other two cases were also reported in China last April and May, the WHO said.

In the latest case, a 56-year-old woman from the southeastern province of Guangdong died on March 16 after falling ill in February and being hospitalized with severe pneumonia.

"The patient had multiple conditions predisposing to the infection. She had been among live poultry before the onset of the disease, and in addition, there were wild birds near her home," the UN health organization announced, citing information from the National Health Commission of China.

None of the woman's close contacts developed the infection or showed symptoms of the disease.

The WHO suggested that the poultry market near her home may have been the source of the infection. Samples taken from there tested positive for influenza A(H3) subtype.

In the previous two cases, one patient developed critical illness and the older one had mild symptoms. WHO said direct or indirect exposure to infected poultry is the likely origin of the infection.

The WHO assured that the risk to humans remains "low".

Epidemiological and virological information currently suggests that avian influenza A(H3N8) viruses do not have the capacity for sustained transmission to humans. Therefore, the current assessment is that the likelihood of person-to-person spread is low, the organization said.

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Tags: bird flu, China, WHO, poultry

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