Beijing: China reported the world’s first human case of the H10N3 avian influenza virus on Tuesday, but the risk of its widespread spread among the population is very low.
A 41-year-old man was admitted to hospital with fever symptoms in the eastern city of Zhenjiang on April 28 and was diagnosed with H10N3 a month later, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in an online statement.
“The risk of large-scale spread is extremely low,” the NHC said, adding that the man was in a stable condition and his close contacts had reported no “abnormalities.”
It described H10N3 as low pathogenic — less likely to cause death or severe illness — in birds.
NHC stated that no human cases of H10N3 have been reported in the world before.
Several strains of avian influenza have been found in animals in China, but large-scale outbreaks in humans are rare.
The last human avian flu epidemic in China occurred from the end of 2016 to 2017, with the H7N9 virus.
According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, H7N9 has infected 1,668 people and claimed 616 lives since 2013.
Following the recent outbreaks of bird flu in Africa and Eurasia, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged stricter monitoring of poultry farms, markets and wild birds.
Covid-19 was first discovered at a food and animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.