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Saturday, June 10, 2023

3rd Confirmed Case of H3N8 Bird Flu in Humans in Southern China

According to local officials, a 56-year-old woman from Zhongshan City in southern China has tested positive for H3N8 bird flu, marking the third known instance of the virus affecting humans. The woman, who had underlying health conditions and was exposed to live poultry and wild birds near her home, has multiple myeloma. The Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that there have been no abnormalities detected in those who came into close contact with her, and that experts believe this to be a sporadic case with a low risk of virus transmission.

This news follows the confirmation of the H3N8 virus in humans for the first time in central China in 2022, when a 4-year-old boy fell seriously ill. The virus also infected the family’s dog and cat. A second case was confirmed a month later in a 5-year-old boy from Hunan province, who quickly recovered from mild symptoms. H3N8 is prevalent in birds and horses and is one of two viruses known to cause dog flu.

While the virus was not previously found in humans until 2022, researchers have long believed that a prior strain of the virus may have caused the 1889 pandemic, which was also known as “Asiatic flu” or “Russian flu.” However, more recent studies indicate that a coronavirus strain may have been responsible for the outbreak.

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