World's first human death from H3N8 bird flu recorded in China: WHO

Reuters | | Posted by Animesh Chaturvedi
Apr 12, 2023 12:43 PM IST

The WHO reported the first human death from the H3N8 subtype of avian influenza in China, but the strain is not transmissible between humans.

A Chinese woman has become the first person to die from a type of bird flu that is rare in humans, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, but the strain does not appear to spread between people.

Bird flu: The virus generally occurs among wild aquatic birds and can infect domestic poultry, other birds, and animals.(PTI)
Bird flu: The virus generally occurs among wild aquatic birds and can infect domestic poultry, other birds, and animals.(PTI)

The 56-year-old woman from the southern province of Guangdong was the third person known to have been infected with the H3N8 subtype of avian influenza, the WHO said in a statement late on Tuesday.

All of the cases have been in China, with the first two cases reported last year.

Also Read: WHO chief thinks COVID-19 emergency will be lifted this year

The Guangdong Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported the third infection late last month but did not provide details of the woman's death.

The patient had multiple underlying conditions, said the WHO, and a history of exposure to live poultry.

Sporadic infections in people with bird flu are common in China where avian flu viruses constantly circulate in huge poultry and wild bird populations.

Samples collected from a wet market visited by the woman before she became ill were positive for influenza A(H3), said the WHO, suggesting this may have been the source of infection.

Also Read: ‘China's moral imperative': WHO chief lashes at Beijing over Covid origin info

Though rare in people, H3N8 is common in birds in which it causes little to no sign of disease. It has also infected other mammals.

There were no other cases found among close contacts of the infected woman, the WHO said.

"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 said in the statement.

Monitoring of all avian influenza viruses is considered important given their ability to evolve and cause a pandemic.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, September 25, 2023
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals