H3N8 and its Presence in China

Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, is a viral disease that affects birds but can also be transmitted to humans and other animals, including horses and dogs. There are several subtypes of the Influenza A virus that can cause bird flu, with H3N8 being one of them. In this article, we will explore the history of H3N8 and its current cases in China.

What is H3N8 and how is it transmitted?

H3N8 is a subtype of the Influenza A virus that is commonly found in birds and horses. It is also known as the Equine influenza virus and is one of the two viruses that can cause dog flu. It was not recorded in humans until 2022. However, some researchers believe that it might have caused the 1889 pandemic, also known as the “Russian flu” or “Asiatic flu.”

Bird flu is primarily transmitted through contact with infected birds or their feces, saliva, and respiratory secretions. People who handle infected birds or come into close contact with them are at the highest risk of contracting the virus. However, in rare cases, bird flu can also be transmitted from person to person through close contact.

History of H3N8 cases in China

In China, the first case of H3N8 infection in human was detected back in April 2022, when a 4-year-old boy in central China became seriously ill. The boy’s pets, a dog and a cat, were also infected. The second case was reported in May 2022 when a 5-year-old boy from Hunan province fell ill. Fortunately, he recovered quickly after experiencing only mild symptoms. The country recently recorded a H3N8 case in Zhongshan City.



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