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China reports first human patient of H10N3 bird flu strain

China’s National Health Commission said a patient was diagnosed with the H10N3 bird flu strain more than a month after he fell ill in April. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
China’s National Health Commission said a patient was diagnosed with the H10N3 bird flu strain more than a month after he fell ill in April. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

June 1 (UPI) -- China reported the world's first human case of H10N3 bird flu Tuesday, more than a month after a man showed symptoms of the disease, according to local health authorities.

China's National Health Commission said in an online statement the 41-year-old patient in the city of Zhenjiang, in China's eastern Jiangsu Province, was confirmed for the H10N3 bird flu strain.

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The man, who was not identified, first fell ill on April 23. When his condition deteriorated, he was admitted to a local hospital May 5, Chinese authorities said.

The man's condition has stabilized since that time, authorities said. He was diagnosed with H10N3 on Friday.

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The NHC claimed the risk of the H10N3 virus spreading in human populations is low, because it originates from birds.

The Chinese government agency also said the transmission of the virus from birds to a human was an "accident," and that the risk of a massive outbreak is "very low."

Authorities in Jiangsu Province said they have been monitoring the patient's close contacts, but none have reported symptoms.

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Disease experts in China are advising the public to stay away from birds and poultry and avoid direct contact with live birds as much as possible.

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If symptoms including respiratory problems emerge, patients should wear a mask and visit a hospital, experts said, according to state media.

Yang Zhanqiu, director of the Institute of Medical Virology at Wuhan University, told Chinese state tabloid Global Times the risk of the virus being passed between people is low.

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There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission, Yang said, according to state media.

Yang advised the public against "overreacting to the disease," but he also said "additional monitoring is needed to understand the transmission process," the report said.

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