H3N8 avian flu in China: should we be worried about the first case of transmission to humans?


THE CHEKING PROCESS – China has announced that it has detected the first case of H3N8 avian influenza in humans. Until then, this strain was known to infect horses, dogs and seals.

THE QUESTION. China said on April 26 that it had detected the first case of H3N8 avian flu in humans. Until then, this strain was known to infect horses, dogs and seals, but had never been detected in humans. However, the Chinese Ministry of Health indicated that a four-year-old boy from Henan province (central) had tested positive for this strain, after being hospitalized in early April for a fever and other symptoms. . The boy’s family raises chickens, and lives in an area populated by wild ducks.

On social networks, the announcement of this discovery has raised concerns, with some drawing a somewhat rapid parallel with the Covid-19 pandemic, also seen for the first time in China. Especially since an epizootic (epidemic affecting animals) of avian flu – via another strain, the H5N1 strain – is currently hitting France.

Should we be worried about this discovery in China? And…

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