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Bird flu: China records first death from H3N8 influenza strain, WHO says

BMJ 2023 ; 381 doi: (Published 13 April 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p839
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

A woman in China has died from H3N8 avian influenza—the first to die from this subtype—the World Health Organization has reported. 1

“The likelihood of human-to-human spread is low,” WHO said while stressing the importance of global surveillance because of the constantly evolving nature of influenza viruses.

The 56 year old woman from the southern province of Guangdong became ill on 22 February 2023, was admitted to hospital for severe pneumonia on 3 March, and died on 16 March.

The woman had multiple underlying conditions, WHO said. Samples collected from a live poultry market visited by the woman before she became ill were positive for influenza A (H3N8), suggesting this may have been the source of infection. No other cases have been found among close contacts of the woman.

This is only the third case of human infection with an avian influenza A (H3N8) virus ever reported. The …

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