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First human death in China from H3N8 Bird flu, how it transmits?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed three cases of H3N8 avian flu in humans in the last year in China,

By Ground Report
New Update
First human death in China from H3N8 Bird flu, how it transmits?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed three cases of H3N8 avian flu in humans in the last year in China, among which the most recent was reported to this institution on March 27 and corresponded to a woman who died from this infection in the middle of the same month.

The victim suffered from underlying diseases and it has been established that he had close contact with farm birds before he presented symptoms of the disease and that there was also a presence of wild birds around his home, which indicates that he was most likely infected in a live bird market.

H3N8 Virus: low human transmission

The epidemiological studies that have been carried out so far show that the H3N8 virus does not have the capacity to be transmitted easily from person to person, so the WHO considers that "the risk of spread between humans at the national, regional or international level is low".

However, the known fact that this type of virus can change makes it very important that there be global surveillance to detect any virological, epidemiological or clinical modification, he stressed.

The first two human cases reported by China of this same disease were recorded in April and May 2022, and they recovered. In both cases, it was determined that the contagion occurred through direct or indirect exposure to live edible birds.

After the three cases were detected, all contacts of the infected people were tracked and monitored, but no additional cases were found among them.

Preventive measures against H3N8 Virus

The WHO recommended that to minimize the risk of infection, countries should increase public awareness of the importance of avoiding contact in risky environments such as farms or markets where there are live animals, edible birds, or surfaces that may be contaminated with animal faeces.

Those people who, due to their work, must be in contact with these species must have rigorous hand hygiene and use respiratory protection to reduce the danger.

To prevent a mutation of the virus that could facilitate its transmission from person to person, it is recommended that all workers in the poultry sector be vaccinated against influenza.

The organization indicated that it does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions based on the information it has so far.

At the moment, one of the priorities is to understand the extent of the circulation of influenza viruses among animals and that all States and other actors share the information they have quickly.

What is avian flu

Bird flu, or bird flu, is a type of infection that occurs mainly in birds. Most bird flu viruses do not infect humans, but some strains, particularly H5N1 and H7N9, can, in rare cases, spread to humans and cause serious illness.

Bird flu is transmitted to humans when these viruses, which are part of a group called avian influenza A viruses, pass from the saliva, mucus, or droppings of an infected bird into the eyes, nose, or mouth of an infected bird.

Humans can become infected by breathing in the virus, which can survive in air droplets or dust, or by touching a surface that harbours the virus and transferring it to the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Signs and Symptoms of Bird Flu

The symptoms of bird flu in humans can vary widely, depending on the type of virus that is causing the infection.

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Fever greater than 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums

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