China confirms first human case of H10N3 bird flu

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A man in China has been infected with the world’s first human case of the H10N3 strain of bird flu — but the risk of community transmission is low, health officials said Tuesday.

The 41-year-old man, a resident of the eastern city of Zhenjiang, was hospitalized April 28 after developing a fever and other symptoms, the National Health Commission said.

He was diagnosed with the H10N3 strain of bird flu on May 28, but now is in stable condition and preparing to be discharged from the hospital.

It’s unclear how exactly he became infected with H10N3, but health officials said it was a case of “accidental cross-species transmission.”

None of his close contacts have contracted the disease, the commission said, adding that it is a low pathogenic virus.

“The risk of large-scale transmission is low,” the commission said.

Filip Claes, a lab coordinator with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases, said there have been only around 160 isolates of the virus detected over the course of 40 years.

Most of the cases have been in wild birds or waterfowl in Asia and in some parts of North America, he said.

With Post wires

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