China’s National Health Commission (NHC) yesterday announced that they had recorded the first case H3N8 strain of Bird Flu among humans. A four-year-old boy who had been showing several symptoms including fever had been diagnosed with this infection. It is believed that the child had been in contact with chickens and crows being raised at his home.
However, NHC assured that no close contacts have been detected with the virus. The statement also said that it is unlikely that this bird flu will spread among humans. Initial assessment showed that the strain is not likely to infect humans and so large-scale epidemic might not happen.
According to the commission, the strain has been detected among animals in other parts of the world but no infections have been reported among humans. Horses, birds, dogs, and some other animals have been detected with this infection, but no human case has been reported. NHC insisted that if all the evidence is anything to go by, this variant is unlikely to infect humans on a large scale.
NHC said that the child getting infected was most likely a one-off case of cross-species transmission. However, it has warned the public to refrain from getting close to sick or dead birds and animals. People should also seek medical assistance immediately at the first sign of infection, no matter how nominal.
H3N8 variant of bird flu first emerged in 2002 in North American waterfowl and has been present ever since. This variant has never been seen to infect humans until now.