China detects first human case of H3N8 bird flu strain

Wednesday, April 27, 2022
author picture Lucas Simon
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China Detects First Human Case of H3N8 Bird Flu Strain

As many of you may know‚ the H3N8 variant of bird flu has been found in seals and horses‚ but until now no cases had been reported in humans. China has since issued an alert for all residents‚ advising them to avoid close contact with live poultry. The symptoms of this illness include fever‚ aching muscles‚ cough‚ and headache. For more information‚ see China detects first human case of H3N8 bird flu strain

H3N8 virus in human case is a reassortant

The H3N8 CIV adapted to the canine species by overcoming the innate immune system. The adaptation took place at both pre-enzootic and post-enzootic stages. The time span of the H3N8 CIV's emergence in humans is from 2002 to present. In this case‚ the virus reassortant into a human host is likely to be a reassortant. This new virus is not the first to jump onto humans. A case of H3N8 infection in a human occurred in China in 2006. This virus is highly reassortant and contains genes from wild birds and poultry. This is a major cause for concern because the vast number of poultry in China provides the perfect environment for avian viruses to mix. A person who works in a poultry business is highly susceptible to H3N8 infection. Besides humans‚ other species may contract the virus. Pigs have been infected with H3N8 viruses. The pig viruses have been isolated in the US‚ UK and Japan. Viruses from seals may be infected with influenzaviruses A. Some laboratory animals may also contract the virus. In cases where the virus is inhaled‚ the human body may become infected. The CIV genomes were analyzed for sequence similarity. They were closely related to the H3N8 EIV lineage‚ but did not cluster with other CIV segments in the NS1 gene tree. Therefore‚ the H3N8 CIV appeared to be a reassortant to the human H3N8 EIV. The analysis of this new virus suggests that this is a reassortant. It is believed that childhood exposure to H3N8 virus may have rendered some young adults susceptible to the 1918 flu. In addition‚ the childhood exposure may have induced suboptimal immunity‚ which tilted the odds of a secondary infection. In 1918‚ most influenza-related deaths were caused by bacterial pathogens‚ and this may have created a small wedge of ineffective immunity. The NP antigen and M2 antigen were newly emerged from avian influenza. The conserved HA stalk domain may have weakened the immune system in this small population. The H3N8 virus in human case is not a reassortant of the H5N1 or H7N9 viruses. Although the H5N1 and H7N9 viruses do not appear to have previously circulated in humans‚ they are closely related and exhibit group-matched HA proteins. This may explain the low incidence of human cases with the H3N8 virus.

It can infect humans but not birds

The H3N8 bird flu strain has made its way to human populations after it infected birds in Asia. Since its discovery in China‚ it has affected poultry and wild birds all over the world. It is not yet clear whether this strain will also affect humans‚ but the danger is very low. China's National Health Commission (NHC) has issued an alert to the public to avoid contact with dead or dying birds. The H3N8 variant is usually found in birds‚ but has also been found in seals and horses. The first human case of the H3N8 variant is an alarming first step in understanding its potential spread to humans. The first symptoms of bird flu include fever‚ sore throat‚ cough and aching muscles. People with the disease are advised to limit contact with birds and poultry. The first human case of the H3N8 bird flu strain was confirmed in China on April 5‚ according to health officials. The illness was reported in a four-year-old boy in Henan Province. He recently had contact with chickens and crows and developed fever and other symptoms. He is now recovering at home. Earlier this year‚ no human cases were reported‚ but it was still a big deal. While the risk of large-scale transmission is small‚ the fact that humans were exposed to the virus is a cause for concern. The vast population of birds in China provides the perfect breeding ground for avian viruses. As a result‚ more surveillance is needed. Furthermore‚ the disease is more prevalent than ever in Asia. This could be a sign of a more serious outbreak in the region.

It can lead to adaptive mutations that increase the risk of rapid spreading

The boy's close contact with various bird species‚ including chickens‚ ducks‚ and crows‚ is believed to have contributed to the illness. Although it is not known if this strain can transmit to humans‚ whole genome sequencing of H3N8 virus genes suggests a high possibility of cross-species transmission. Because the chances of large-scale outbreaks are low‚ this case is likely to remain a rare incident. Though the risk for widespread spread of this strain is relatively low‚ the discovery of the first human case in China warrants increased surveillance. Because China's huge bird population makes it the perfect breeding ground for avian viruses to mix and spread‚ medical experts recommend greater caution when interacting with chicken and poultry workers. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is testing close contacts of the child‚ which may mean he contracted the virus in the poultry industry. Health officials in China have reported the first human case of H3N8 avian influenza. The four-year-old boy was in contact with chickens and wild ducks recently‚ and was diagnosed with the disease. The boy's close relatives were not infected. The virus kills about half of people who contract it. Fortunately‚ the disease isn't spreadable between humans. China detected the first human case of the deadly H3N8 bird flu strain in June 2021. It is important to note that this strain is less pathogenic than other bird flu strains. The first human case of H3N8 isn't the first one. In fact‚ there have been many cases of H3N8 in birds. But the latest human case is of great concern because it is a relatively rare strain. The virus can be spread by direct contact with an infected bird or by touching its carcass. But it is not possible to pass avian flu to humans without direct contact. Handling bird carcasses is a potential risk as well. But unlike seasonal flu‚ the virus cannot be transferred through the air‚ but it can spread from person to person through the hands and fingers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that it could mutate and spread in humans. Despite the fact that China detected the first human case of H3N8 bird influenza strain‚ it was not immediately clear if the case had been isolated in a particular city. A human case of this strain has not been confirmed in the US‚ though some people live near crows and chickens. Nevertheless‚ China has taken the precaution of quarantining chickens and other poultry until further confirmation is made.