First Human Case Of H3N8 Bird Flu Reported In China

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China has recorded its first human infection with the H3N8 strain of bird flu.

According to a statement issued by the National Health Commission on Tuesday, the variant was found in a four-year-old boy who had a fever and other symptoms on April 5

The statement added that the child had been in contact with chickens raised at his home. The health authority also said that the risk of its spread among humans is low.

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NDTV reports: H3N8 is known to have been circulating since 2002 after first emerging in North American waterfowl. It is known to infect horses, dogs and seals, but has not previously been detected in humans.

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

The boy’s family raised chickens at home and lived in an area populated by wild ducks, the NHC said in a statement.

The boy was infected directly by birds and the strain was not found to have “the ability to effectively infect humans”, the commission said.

It added that tests of the boy’s close human contacts found “no abnormalities”.

The NHC said the boy’s case was a “one-off cross-species transmission, and the risk of large-scale transmission is low”.

It warned the public to nevertheless stay away from dead or sick birds and seek immediate treatment for fever or respiratory symptoms.