Home Health & Food What you need to know about H3N8, bird flu recently detected in human

What you need to know about H3N8, bird flu recently detected in human

by James Davies

The recent discovery of H3N8 flu in humans has sent shivers down the spine of many across the globe. The paranoia is traceable to the fact that the detection occurred in China, the same country where the coronavirus pandemic first broke out.

From China, coronavirus has spread to over 100 countries, infecting and killing people in millions.

Nevertheless, the World Health Organisation, has prepared the minds of people that coronavirus, like other pandemics preceding it, won’t be the last.

But is H3N8 capable of becoming another pandemic?


The Chinese government, on Tuesday, confirmed the first known human case of the H3N8 strain of avian flu.

The government reported that the flu was discovered in a four-year-old boy living in central Henan province of China, who was hospitalised earlier this month for fever and other symptoms.

The boy’s family raised chickens at home and lived in an area populated by wild ducks, the Chinese National Health Commission said in a statement, adding that he was infected directly by birds. 

But strangely, the strain was not found to have “the ability to effectively infect humans”, the commission stated.

Since this is the first detection in humans, it remains unclear what the person-to-person transmission mode looks like.

But the commission has warned that this outbreak is an occasional bird-to-human cross-species transmission and that the risk of a large-scale epidemic is low. 

Experts have also suggested that the public should avoid direct contact with live poultry as much as possible, pay attention to dietary hygiene, and separate raw and cooked food during food processing. 

People are also urged to improve self-protection awareness, and those with fever and respiratory symptoms should wear a mask and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What we know so far

H3N8 is an avian strain of influenza that occurs mainly in wild birds and poultry. It is in the category of H5N1 and H7N9 strains of bird flu, which were detected between 1997 and 2013, according to the US Centers for Disease Control. 

According to a 2008 research work published in PubMed, a leer review journal, scientists discovered that virus jumped species is capable of causing illness in dogs.

“Influenza A virus subtype H3N8 has recently emerged as a respiratory pathogen in dogs, associated with outbreaks of acute respiratory disease in racing greyhounds. The disease is caused by a novel virus closely related to contemporary equine influenza A virus subtype H3N8,” the published version read.

The researchers stated that some of the dogs that caught the virus died with extensive haemorrhage in the lungs, mediastinum, and pleural cavity.

“Histologic examination showed tracheitis, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and suppurative bronchopneumonia associated with extensive erosion of epithelial cells and infiltration with neutrophils,” the research added.

On the treatment of H3N8 in dogs, CDC said it mainly consists of supportive care to keep the dog hydrated and comfortable while its body then mounts an immune response to the infection to facilitate recovery.

“In the milder form of the disease, this care may include medication to make your dog more comfortable and fluids to ensure that your dog remains well-hydrated.”

However, antibiotics may be prescribed by the veterinarian if a secondary bacterial infection is suspected.

Copyright PUNCH

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

Source link

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

I am 18 or Older I am Under 18