China Detects First Human Case Of H3N8 Bird Flu Strain

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China Detects First Human Case Of H3N8 Bird Flu Strain

Recent reports from China’s National Health Commission shed light on the first-ever human infection caused by the H3N8 strain of avian influenza.

The flu has been detected in a four years old boy from the Henan province of China. According to local news, the boy came in frequent contact with the poultry and birds raised in his household.

Bird Flu Strain H3N8 First Human Case Discovered In China

It is being speculated that a few of those birds have already been showing some signs of bird flu, but it was neglected at first by the boy’s family.

Then about a month ago the boy felt sick and was hospitalized with a high fever and several other symptoms. After this news got published on Tuesday, it went viral on social media like wildfire. 

Lack of Awareness of People After Detecting Bird Flu

The news of bird flu is not that far-fetched. It first came as news in the ’90s. The H5N1 strain was detected in 1997. Back then people did not care about it being a contagion at first due to the lack of awareness, which quickly turned into a highly infectious viral disease.

Then came H7N9 in the year 2013. Although the H3N8 strain is never found in humans before, it is already detected in birds, horses, seals, and many other animals since 2002.

Scientists are assuming that this particular strain is not supposed to infect humans unless someone gets too close to an infected bird or animal.

Also, the human-to-human infection caused by this strain is very less likely. The boy’s family members are already tested negative and cleared with ‘no infection or abnormalities’, even the ones who came in close contact with him on a daily basis.

The National Health Commission of China has since stated that this case is a ‘one-off cross-species transmission’ and the risk of a large-scale human transmission and infectivity is too low to be considered a threat.

Then again, NHC has a bad reputation for withholding crucial information from the public. The infected boy’s family lives in an area populated by wild ducks.

According to some scientists, the H3N8 strain primarily emerged from those wild ducks, and then the household chicken, ducks, and crows got infected with it.

Other reports about H3N8

Back in 2012, H3N8 made the headlines after it reportedly infected the seals across the North American coastline. Around 160 of those seals passed away due to deadly influenza.

However, in recent years there is an outbreak of avian flu among humans in the European region and the USA. In Russia, the H5N8 strain was said to be wrecking havoc in the year 2021.

China is one step ahead of Russia regarding this matter. People from China are still being infected with the H7N9 and H10N3 strains. Now the emergence of H3N8 is causing people to give in to the fear of getting infected all over again.

This being said, mass confusion after hearing about the possible rise of a new kind of disease is totally justified, especially when we are already failing to contain the pandemic caused by the infamous Covid-19.

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