First human case of H3N8 avian flu in China

In a brief statement issued on April 26, 2022, the Chinese government says that a first human case of bird flu H3N8 was detected in Henan province. This is a 4-year-old child who has contracted symptoms on April 5 and was admitted to a local hospital on the 10th due to his worsening condition. Chinese health authorities confirmed on April 24 that the child tested positive for virus H3N8.

The child lives near chickens and crows raised by his parents according to the Chinese government. He was probably infected with the virus through prolonged contact with a sick animal. While such cases may occur, the H3N8 virus is primarily avian – although it has been identified in other animals including mammals – and is not programmed to infect humans. According to current knowledge, it seems unlikely that the virus can spread from human to human; the pandemic risk is therefore considered low.

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