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The H10N3 Bird Flu Strain: Everything You Need to Know About Human Avian Flu Transmission in China

The confirmation of a 41-year-old man in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu as the first human case of infection with a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3 has alarmed a pandemic-affected globe.

Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC) shared the news of the man’s hospitalisation and subsequent diagnosis, as well as his release following treatment and recovery, with the rest of the globe on Tuesday, May 1.

Nearly 18 months after the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, COVID-19, which originated in China’s Wuhan city, the globe now needs guarantees that the H10N3 Bird Flu strain detected in a person has not moved to human-to-human transmission.

The individual, a Zhenjiang resident, was admitted to the hospital on April 28 and diagnosed with H10N3 on May 28, according to the health commission. According to the Reuters report, it did not specify how the guy became infected.

His condition has stabilised, and he is now ready to be released. According to the NHC, no more instances involving his close relationships were discovered. It went on to say that no other instances of H10N3 illness in humans had been detected elsewhere in the world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has told Reuters that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission at this moment under emergency monitoring.

“As long as avian influenza viruses exist in poultry, occasional avian influenza infection in humans is not unusual,” the WHO stated, “which serves as a stark warning that the possibility of an influenza pandemic persists.”

What is the H10N3 strain of bird flu?

  • H10N3 is a strain of Avian Flu, sometimes known as Bird Flu.
  • In China, there are many distinct strains of bird flu, and some of them occasionally infect humans, generally individuals who deal with poultry.
  • According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infected birds shed avian flu in their saliva, mucus, and excrement, and people may get sick when enough of the virus enters the eyes, nose, or mouth, or is breathed through contaminated droplets or dust.
  • Fortunately, there is little evidence that H10N3 can rapidly spread in people.
  • H10N3 is also gaining a bit more attention than regular bird flu since it has resulted in a patient being admitted to the hospital. Dr. Adalja told Prevention.com that many flu viruses from other animals only cause moderate sickness.

Is it common for viruses from birds to infect humans?
While avian flu transmission from birds to people is uncommon, infectious disease specialists are worried about when it occurs. According to infectious disease specialist Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, “it’s a significant barrier for an avian virus to cross.” “Only a tiny fraction of avian influenza viruses are capable of doing so.” According to the CDC, these viruses may cause illnesses ranging from mild to severe.

What is the risk of the H10N3 bird flu virus?
According to Chinese officials, H10N3 is low pathogenic, which means it causes less severe sickness in chickens and is unlikely to trigger a large-scale epidemic.
According to Filip Claes, regional laboratory coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases at the regional office for Asia and the Pacific, the strain is “not a very common virus.”
In the 40 years leading up to 2018, only around 160 isolates of the virus were recorded, predominantly in wild birds or ducks in Asia and a few isolated areas of North America, and none had been found in hens, he noted.
Claes added that analysing the virus’s genomic data would be important to identify if it resembles prior viruses or is a fresh combination of viruses.
Since the H7N9 variant killed roughly 300 people in 2016-2017, there have been no substantial numbers of human illnesses with bird flu.

Is it possible that the H10N3 Bird Flu may start a new pandemic?
Prevention.com quotes William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease expert and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, as stating, “The great issue is if a specific strain of bird flu that’s in people has the capability to easily be spread from person to person.” “If it had that capability, it would be the epicentre of an influenza pandemic.”
According to John Sellick, DO, an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the University of Buffalo in the United States, an H1N1 virus is the “worst-case scenario” with a kind of flu that leaps from animals (including birds) to people. “We’re always concerned about them, but we see them on a regular basis,” Sellick said to Prevention.com.

Is there an H10N3 vaccination available for humans?
There is currently no vaccination available for Bird Flu. Bird flu is often treated with antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir, or zanamivir, in the same manner as “normal” flu is. Dr. Sellick told Prevention magazine that if bird flu spreads to humans, scientists “would be able to produce a vaccine very quickly” by altering an existing flu vaccine, but he warns that “nothing is ever absolute.”

What are the signs and symptoms of H10N3?

These are some of the probable symptoms, according to the CDC:

Pink eye

Fever

Cough

Sore throat

Muscle aches

Nausea

Stomach pain

Diarrhoea

Vomiting

Shortness of breath

Difficulty breathing

Pneumonia

Altered mental status

Seizures

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