China reports first human case of H10N8 avian flu

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
By Paul Martin

Jim Wappes
Dec 17, 2013

A 73-year-old woman in Jiangxi province in China has died from an H10N8 avian flu infection, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said today, the first report of that strain infecting humans.

The woman, whose immune system was compromised, had an underlying illness and had visited a live-poultry market, CHP reported in a statement. She was admitted to a local hospital on Nov 30, was diagnosed as having severe pneumonia, and died Dec 6.

China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission confirmed the case. The woman’s close contacts are under medical surveillance but have as yet remained asymptomatic.

“Influenza A(H10) is currently not a local statutorily notifiable infectious disease but the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP is capable of detecting this virus by culture or genetic testing. No confirmed human cases have been recorded so far in Hong Kong,” a spokesman for the CHP said in the statement.

David Halvorson, DVM, an avian health expert at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, told CIDRAP News, “I am unaware of any [previous] H10N8 human infections.”

The CHP said in the statement that it will follow up with the World Health Organization (WHO) and health officials on the mainland for more information. Meanwhile, Hong Kong authorities have stepped up surveillance efforts.

The CHP spokesman urged travelers not to visit live-poultry markets and avoid direct contact with poultry, birds, and their droppings. Jiangxi is located in southeastern China, with only Guangdong province separating it from Hong Kong.

H10N8 in birds; previous H10 human cases

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