China: The Country Records its First Ever Human Death from the H3N8 Bird Flu, says WHO

China: The Country Records its First Ever Human Death from the H3N8 Bird Flu, says WHO | The Lifesciences Magazine

The World Health Organization reported that a Chinese woman has become the first person ever to die from the H3N8 bird flu, a flu that is found rarely in humans. The WHO has also said that this rare strain does not seem to spread between people.

The victim was a 56-year-old woman from the southern province of Guangdong, who was also the third person to be infected with the rare strain of H3N8, a subtype of avian influenza. All the known cases of the H3N8 flu have been in China, with the first two of them coming to the surface just last year.

The Guangdong Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention had reported the country’s third infection in the latter half of the last month but did not give any details about the woman’s death.

Although, WHO in its latest report said that the patient was suffering from several underlying conditions and also had a history of long exposure to poultry. People with bird flu in China are commonly seen to have sporadic infections. It is because of the constant circulation of the avian flu in huge poultry and wild bird populations.

The samples that were collected from a wet market where the woman visited before she got ill showed positive results for influenza A(H3), WHO stated pointing to a suggestion that this could have been the source of her infection.

The H3N8 flu, albeit rare in people, is a very common infection in birds which is known for little to almost no sign of disease. The flu has also known to have infected other mammals.

In a further statement, WHO also said that there were no other cases found among the close contacts of the infected woman.

“Based on available information, it appears that this virus does not have the ability to spread easily from person to person, and therefore the risk of it spreading among humans at the national, regional, and international levels is considered to be low,” the WHO stated.

Although, a close monitoring of all the avian influenza viruses should be important, considering its ability to further evolve and cause a pandemic.

Also Read: 6 Hygiene Tips to Reduce the Risk of Bird Flu

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