First human case of H3N8 avian flu detected in China

China's National Health Commission has confirmed the first human case of the H3N8 strain of avian flu in a four-year-old boy.

Published Thu, Apr 28 2022 5:25 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, May 20 2022 4:39 AM CDT

China's National Health Commission (NHC) confirmed the first known instance of the H3N8 strain of avian flu in a human patient.

First human case of H3N8 avian flu detected in China 01 |

A four-year-old boy from the Henan province was hospitalized earlier in April with a fever and other symptoms and has since tested positive for the H3N8 strain. H3N8 first emerged in the North American waterfowl in 2002 and has been known to infect horses, dogs, and seals.

According to the NHC, the case is a "one-off cross-species transmission, and the risk of large-scale transmission is low." However, it has issued warnings to the public to stay away from sick or dead birds and seek immediate treatment for fevers or respiratory symptoms.

Zoonotic diseases are those that have made their way from animals to humans, but according to the World Health Organization (WHO), zoonotic influenza viruses are "primarily acquired through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments, but do not result in efficient transmission of these viruses between people."

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