After facing the catastrophic outbreak of Coronavirus in late 2019, China is reportedly again on the verge of being the origin of a probable epidemic. But this time, it’s not a Nobel virus. Instead, the microbe is nothing but the Avian influenza virus, which causes Bird Flu in the poultry, chickens to be more specific. The H10N3 strain of the influenza virus affects the birds at a mild rate, which usually don’t result in fatality.
But since the same strain was found in the respiratory system of a Chinese man, aged 41 years, doctors and virologists are concerned about the outbreak of another infection soon. The man is a resident of the Zhenjiang Chinese city, where he was admitted to a local hospital when his fever worsened and a sharp decline in his auto-immune response. He was admitted on 28th April after which the hospital took few samples of his respiratory juice and sent the same to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CCDC.
After a month of extensive studies, CCDC officials finally revealed that the sample contains strains of the H10N3 influenza virus, infecting the avian chickens and cause bird flu in them. So, this man is reportedly the first very case of human bird flu in the history of global medical science. However, even though he is now safe and discharged from the hospital after making a speedy recovery, a potential threat is still lingering in the Chinese air.
Since nothing is yet known about how the virus entered the man’s system and infected him by overpowering his auto-immune system, CCDC officials are trying to trace the man’s past activities. Their main aim is to locate the origin of the infection and study its spread amongst other humans. Their major concern now is to detect the human-to-human transmission mode and rate of the Avian influenza virus. This study will help them decide the preventive measures that need to be taken immediately to contain the infection and stop it from becoming another pandemic.
So, far, nothing has been known regarding the human-to-human contamination due to the virus. This gives new hope to the CCDC officials and other experts who have concluded that maybe the man caught the infection after consuming an infected chicken. However, as the H10N3 virus is new to the man’s immune system, no antibody was present to stop the virus from showing the symptoms.
That’s why experts are now suggesting everyone consumes chicken for the time being. Besides, they have also listed down some preventive measures to stop the human-to-human transmission of the virus like not sharing personal belongings, coughing or sneezing after covering the mouth and nose, not eating poultry products, etc.
Viruses have high mutation rates, and they can quickly adapt themselves as per the host cell’s protein mechanism. Therefore, even though the health officials have reassured the public that there is no imminent threat of an epidemic or worse pandemic, lookouts need to be continued for searching any other human with the same Avian influenza virus in their system. After all, this is the first case where an Avian flu virus has jumped from the chicken to a human, causing completely different systems in the man’s body.