A first human case of H3N8 avian influenza detected in China

The health authorities, however, want to be reassuring and specify that the risk of transmission between humans is low.

Le Monde with AFP

This is the first time that a case of avian flu has been detected in humans. A 4 -year -old boy, living in the Henan province in the center of the country, was tested positive for the H3N8 strain, announced the Chinese Ministry of Health, Wednesday, April 27.

The child was hospitalized in early April for a fever and other symptoms. He had been directly infected with birds – his family pupils chickens and lives in an area populated by wild ducks. The Chinese Ministry of Health calls not to approach dead or sick birds and to consult in case of fever or respiratory symptoms.

Also according to this same source, this contamination results from a “punctual interest transmission” and “the risk of large -scale transmission is low”. The tests carried out on people close to the patient have also revealed “no anomaly”.

very rare transmission

Experts interviewed by British daily The Guardian confirm this analysis. “It often happens that a virus spreads to a human and then stops there. A single case is not a cause of great concern,” said Sir Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health at The University of Oxford. “There is no reason to think that it will go further,” said Professor Paul Digard of the Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh. The World Health Organization (WHO) will however conduct an investigation into this “unusual” case, announced Doctor John McCauley, director of a flu supervision center collaborating with WHO, at the Guardian.

If cases of avian flu transmission between humans are extremely rare, the H3N8 strain is known to be transmitted among horses, dogs and seals. According to an American study published in 2012 in the journal Nature , the H3N8 strain would have resulted in fatal pneumonia in more than 160 seals along the American coasts the previous year.

Only the H5N1 and H7N9 strains, detected respectively in 1997 and 2013, were the main ones behind human influenza cases, according to American centers for the control and prevention of diseases (CDC).

/Media reports.