China's National Health Commission has announced a confirmed case of H10N3, a rare avian influenza, the New York Times reports. It adds that the health agency says a 41-year-old man in Jiangsu Province was hospitalized in late April after feeling feverish.
Genome sequencing of samples from the patient by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed last week that he had been infected with H10N3, the Times adds. While Agence France Presse notes it is unclear how the man contracted the flu, Reuters adds that there is a low risk of further spread, as authorities did not find other cases among the local population or the man's close contacts. Cases like this occur sporadically in regions where there is a high amount of contact between people and both farmed and wild birds, Reuters notes.
"As long as avian influenza viruses circulate in poultry, sporadic infection of avian influenza in humans is not surprising, which is a vivid reminder that the threat of an influenza pandemic is persistent," the World Health Organization tells Reuters.
The worry, the Times adds, is when someone is simultaneously infected with an avian flu and a human flu, allowing them to exchange genetic material and increase the risk for pandemic flu.