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Our Yorkshire Farm: Amanda's son outlines bird flu 'worries'

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A 41-year-old man from China was hospitalised with the first confirmed human case of a rare strain of bird flu known as H10N3. Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC) confirmed the announcement on Tuesday and said there is no indication H10N3 spreads easily among humans.

But with COVID-19 already causing unprecedented impact around the world and many comparing the two diseases on social media, many have expressed concern about the H10N3 bird flu strain.

The man, alli weight loss drug from Zhenjiang in China, was hospitalised on April 28 and diagnosed on May 28.

However, he is now in a stable condition and ready to be discharged.

The NHC said an investigation of his close contacts had found no other cases.

The origin of the man’s infection was not revealed.

No other cases of human infection with H10N3 have been reported globally according to the Chinese health body.

There are many different strains of bird flu around China and some infect humans, particularly those who work closely with poultry.

One social media tweeted: “Here we go again. China reports a human case of H10N3 bird flu, a possible first”.

Another added: “First human case of the H10N3 strain of bird flu, but that the risk of large-scale spread is low”. Yeah, that’s what they said about the coronavirus too, before it went global.”

One person commented: “#H10N3 Bird Flu: First case of Human Infection reported recorded in #China. We must not mistake this infection like we did for coronavirus and must take all precautions needed. #MainstreamMedia must talk about this at its earliest.”

One Twitter user wrote: “Maybe learning from Coronavirus experience, to not hastily said that H10N3 is not low risk. Err on the side of caution is preferred for this matter.”

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What is H10N3 bird flu?

H10N3 is a type of bird or avian flu.

Predominantly it impacts wild aquatic birds globally and can affect domestic poultry and bird species.

Crossovers into the human population are not common but can happen.

This strain is low pathogenic, which means it causes relatively less severe disease in poultry and is unlikely to prompt a large-scale outbreak.

Birds infected with this type of avian flu tend to spread it in their saliva, mucus and faeces.

Humans can contract the virus when enough of the virus from these sources gets into their eyes, nose or mouth, or is infected through droplets or dust.

Virologists and disease specialists are not especially concerned about H10N3, but this strain has gained more attention because it caused a patient to become hospitalised.

Symptoms of H10N3 are relatively unknown given the low level of infection in humans so far.

However, doctors claim it is likely to be similar to the normal flu strain.

According to the NHS website, the main symptoms of bird flu include:

  • A very high temperature or feeling hot or shivery
  • Aching muscles
  • Headache
  • A cough.

Other early symptoms may include diarrhoea, sickness, stomach pain, chest pain, bleeding from the nose and gums and conjunctivitis.

Typically it takes three to five days for the first symptoms to appear after you have been infected.

If you experience symptoms of bird flu and have recently visited an area affected by the virus in the past 10 days you should call your doctor of NHS 111.

The treatment will involve isolating at home and antiviral medication such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza).

Antiviral medicines help reduce the severity of the condition, prevent complications and improve the chances of survival.

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