While the world has been fighting the Covid-19 for more than a year, the Chinese authorities are trying to reassure so as not to stir up new fears. China on Tuesday reported the first global human case of H10N3 avian influenza, a disease usually striking birds, but the country assures that “the risk of large-scale spread is extremely low.”
The 41-year-old patient, from Zhenjiang City, was hospitalized on April 28 with a fever. Doctors concluded a month later that he had the disease, the health ministry said. The patient could a priori soon be released from the hospital.
A “weakly pathogenic” virus
Jiangsu provincial health authorities have tested all contact cases and have not detected anyone with the virus so far. No details were provided on the circumstances of its contamination. The Ministry of Health, however, indicated that H10N3 had “not the capacity to infect humans” and is in any case “low pathogenic” in birds, that is to say unlikely to cause disease. disease.
Several strains of the virus causing avian influenza have been found in animals in China, but massive epidemics among humans are rare. Two other strains of avian influenza, H5N1 (between 2003 and 2011), then H7N9 (since 2013), have given rise in Asia to contamination through direct contact with infected poultry. But cases of human-to-human transmission remain very rare. H7N9 has infected 1,668 people and killed 616 people since 2013, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.