H3N8 Avian Influenza: Mode of Transmission and Precautions

Formerly touching the dogs, birdsseals and horses, the H3N8 virus Avian influenza was first detected in a human. He is a four-year-old child, who lives in Hena Province, China. He tested positive after being hospitalized for the fever and some symptoms. What are the transmission risks and symptoms of H3N8 bird flu?

H3N8 Avian Influenza: What is it?

H3N8 it’s a strain of the virus Bird flu or the flu A. This type of virus only affected animalsin particular the dogsThe horses as well as the pinnipeds (seals, walruses and sea lions).

Avian influenza, on the other hand, is a disease of animal origin caused by influenza A virus strains. According to the Institut Pasteur, avian influenza is more prevalent among poultry (chickens, geese, etc.) and the mortality rate is high among them.

H3N8 avian flu: what is the mode of transmission?

The H3N8 avian flu was first detected in a four-year-old child, who presented with fever and other symptoms on April 5, 2022. He was later hospitalized on the 10th of the same month, due to his worsening health condition. The announcement of this first human case was declared by the Chinese government on April 26, 2022.

In fact, the parents of the child who tested positive for the H3N8 strain raise chickens and live in a region marked by the settlement of wild ducks. Furthermore, according to a study dating from 1997, the H3N8 subtype is responsible for 26% of infections of the flu with wild ducks. This means that the child lived close to the chickens and crows that his parents raise. Therefore, he likely picked up the H3N8 virus after coming into contact with a sick animal.

The Chinese authorities indicated that the risk of virus transmission among men it is very low, as the examinations carried out on the child’s relatives did not reveal “any abnormality”. However, they recommended not to live near sick or dead birds.

However, please note that not all viruses associated with avian influenza are transmitted to humans. Of the 144 avian influenza virus strains, only four (H7N3, H7N7, H5N1 and H9N2) caused human infections until the present moment. But, according to the Institut Pasteur, the spread of the infection in birds increases the risk of a new strain appearing in humans.

What are the symptoms of H3N8 bird flu?

Symptoms that may suggest H3N8 avian flu in a human being are:

As for the case of the four-year-old, the signs that led to hospitalization are fever and other symptoms, according to the Chinese Ministry of Health, which did not give enough details about the case.

Avian influenza in humans: what precautions should be taken?

First of all, it is not advisable to approach the birds, with regard to the care to be taken in relation to the H3N8 avian flu. In case of occurrence of fever or some respiratory symptomsa consultation must be carried out by the patient.

For the Pasteur Institute, it is necessary respect the barrier gestures (mainly washing your hands and wearing a protective mask). In France, to avoid a hypothetical spread, the first safety measure would be remove all poultry tanks that could promote the spread of the epidemic.

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