A second case of a new strain of avian flu has been reported in China, sparking fears of a repeat of last year’s H7N9 scare.
Details of the latest instance of the H10N8 infection remain scarce, though state news agency Xinhua reports that a 55-year-old woman was in a critical condition in a Nanchang hospital after arriving with symptoms of dizziness and a sore throat. The woman recently had “exposure to an agricultural market,” according to the Health and Family Planning Department in south east China’s Jiangxi Province.
Reports follow the death of a 73-year-old woman, also in Jiangxi, who died in December last year after visiting a live bird market days before hospitalization. The case marked the first report of human H10N8 infection, although scientists had already detected the virus in wild and domestic birds.
Meanwhile cases of the H7N9 strain, which struck China in spring 2013 and is already responsible for over 50 deaths, continue to emerge across the east and south of the country. According to a report in yesterday’s Shanghai Daily, Zhejiang Province has seen new instances of the virus for 17 consecutive days since January 9.
Although official guidance on the new H10N8 strain is yet to emerge, it is likely to point towards avoiding contact with uncooked poultry and agricultural markets where possible. There remains no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission with either strain at this stage.
UPDATE: The year’s first case of H7N9 in Beijing has been reported. Click here for full details over at our sister publication theBeijinger.
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