One human infection of H3N8 detected in S.China’s Guangdong, ‘individual case with low risk of spread’
Published: Mar 29, 2023 12:45 PM
File Photo:Xinhua

File Photo:Xinhua

Zhongshan health authorities in South China's Guangdong Province recently reported a case of a human infected with an avian influenza A (H3N8) virus, with the infected individual also suffering from multiple myeloma and other underlying medical conditions. An expert told the Global Times on Wednesday that the case is "an individual case," and the risk of spread is low.

The 56-year-old female had exposed to live poultry and wild birdlife near her home. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reviewed the samples and confirmed a positive result for an avian influenza A (H3N8) virus, according to a statement released by the Guangdong provincial CDC.

The health authorities have guided local officials to carry out an epidemiological investigation, close contact tracking, on-site disinfection and other relevant work. No abnormalities have been found in close contacts so far, the provincial CDC said.

This is "an individual case," and the transmission risk is relatively low currently, Lu Hongzhou, head of the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Experts suggested the public to avoid direct contact with live or dead poultry, and ensure adequate personal protection and pay attention to food hygiene, separating raw and cooked food.

Farmers' markets at all levels shall abide by the Guangdong provincial regulations on poultry management, and implement measures for the management and hygiene of poultry, said the health authorities.

On April 26, 2022, Zhumadian in Central China's Henan Province reported one human infection of avian influenza A (H3N8). The infected individual was a 4-year-old boy, who developed a fever on April 5, 2022, and was admitted to the hospital on April 10, 2022 when his conditions developed. No further cases have been detected among close contacts, according to the National Health Commission. 

The H3N8 virus is commonly detected in animals, and is one of the most frequently found subtypes in wild birds, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The international community is closely monitoring the pattern of bird flu infections. About 80 farms in 26 prefectures have been affected since the beginning of the bird flu season in October 2022, with a record of 16.1 million chickens to be culled in Japan, according to media reports.

On February 23, 2023, Cambodian health authorities reported one confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus to the WHO. A second case, a family contact of the first case, was reported the next day, and the investigation was ongoing, according to WHO.