The first case of human infection from a particular bird flu strain has been detected in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, China’s national health commission (NHC) said on Tuesday.
In a statement on its website, the NHC has confirmed the case of human infection with the H10N3 strain.
The case, detected in a male aged 41 and living in Zhenjiang, a city in the eastern part of the province, was transmitted from poultry, the statement said.
The risk of spreading on a large scale was very low, the NHC assured, adding that there hasn’t been any case of human infection of H10N3 reported in the world before.
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a genome sequence on a blood sample from the patient last week and confirmed that it was the H10N3 strain.
Local authorities have traced the patient’s contacts and have kept them under medical observation.
The NHC statement added that experts assessed that the full genetic analysis of the virus showed that the H10N3 virus was of avian origin.
Experts have advised that people in the region should avoid contact with sick or dead poultry, and try to avoid direct contact with live birds.
They should pay attention to food hygiene, wear masks, improve self-protection awareness, and check for fever and respiratory symptoms, the NHC advised.
In February, China reported an outbreak of H5N8 avian influenza in Lianyungang, a coastal city also in the eastern province of Jiangsu.
The highly pathogenic avian influenza had been detected among wild birds in a scenic area in the city.
“H5N8 is a subtype of the Influenza A virus (also known as the bird flu virus). While H5N8 only presents a low risk to humans, it is highly lethal to wild birds and poultry,” the news agency Xinhua reported on the outbreak.
In April, a highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu was found in wild birds in Shenyang, a city in northeast China’s Liaoning province.