The H3N8 variant of bird flu has infected its first human in China, although the chance of it spreading among people is low, according to the health authority.
The variant was discovered in a four-year-old boy from Henan province’s central province, who had a fever and other symptoms on 5 April 2022, according to the National Health Commission.
According to the statement, the boy had come into contact with hens and crows raised at his residence.
Horses, dogs, and even seals have been reported to carry the H3N8 strain. According to the NHC (National Health Commission), no human cases of H3N8 have been reported.
What is H3N8 Bird Flu?
The avian influenza virus, usually known as bird flu, is a type A influenza virus. It is fatal to chickens and could be harmful to people. Both wild and farmed birds are susceptible to bird flu. Humans who come into close contact with poultry or other birds have also contracted the disease.
The H3N8 virus is thought to have started in horses and subsequently transferred to dogs, particularly those kept in kennels and shelters, and is now known as a dog-specific virus.
The H5N1 and H7N9 strains of bird flu, according to the CDC, are the most common causes of avian influenza illnesses in humans. The former was discovered in 1997, whereas the latter appeared in 2013 and has been blamed for the majH3N8 Bird Flu Strainority of human cases of avian influenza.
There is no proof that the virus may be passed from one person to another. However, in rare situations, a person may have been ill as a result of caring for a sick family member.
How H3N8 Bird Flu Virus is Transmitted?
All avian influenza type A viruses are thought to be carried by water birds like wild ducks. The viruses are carried in the intestines of the birds and spread through their feces into the environment. Infected migratory birds have the ability to spread bird flu to any of the nations they visit.
Diarrhea, breathing difficulties, a bloated head, and mortality are some of the symptoms that might occur in birds, depending on the species. The virus is spread through a sick bird’s feathers, mucus, saliva, and feces.
Bird flu can infect humans if they come into close contact with sick birds. A person handling a sick bird, for example, may contaminate their hands with chicken feces and neglect to wash their hands before eating.
The contaminated bird feces will next be consumed. The most typical way for a human to contract avian flu is through this route. The virus can live in raw poultry meat, but it is eliminated by cooking.
There is no evidence that the current H3N8 bird flu virus can rapidly transfer from person to person.
What are the Symptoms of H3N8 Bird Flu?
Although there have been insufficient human cases to identify the exact incubation time of avian flu, it is estimated to be between three and ten days. Human symptoms of avian flu are similar to those of ordinary influenza and include the following:
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Aches
- Headache and Shortness of Breath
- Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
- Respiratory Failure
- Kidney Dysfunction
- Heart Problems
What Precautions Should We Take?
The human infection is most certainly a rare occurrence of bird-to-human cross-species transmission, with little chance of an outbreak. Nonetheless, health officials have recommended the public to stay away from ill or dead chickens, follow good dietary hygiene, and seek medical attention if they get a fever or respiratory symptoms.
Several antiviral drugs used to treat human influenza can also be used to treat avian flu. These might be used if a person exhibited symptoms after being in close contact with avian influenza, or to prevent disease in someone who had been in close contact with the virus.
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