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China confirms second human H10N8 avian influenza case

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For the second time in a little over a month, and the second time ever reported in a patient, the Jiangxi Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission reported the confirmation of a human case of avian influenza A (H10N8), according to a China News report Jan. 25 (computer translated).

According to the report, a 55-year-old woman, surname Zhang, presented with sore throat, dizziness, fatigue and other symptoms on Jan. 8.

On Jan. 15, she advanced to severe pneumonia and is currently hospitalized in critical condition.

The epidemiological investigation of the case revealed that the patient has a history of shopping in bazaars.

This is the second confirmed human H10N8 avian flu case recorded. Late last year, a 73-year-old woman, also from Jiangxi Province, became the first ever reported patient to contract avian influenza A (H10N8).

The first patient, who had underlying medical conditions, was hospitalized on November 30 and died on December 6.

China has previously detected H10N8 in wild and domestic birds. In addition to China, the World Health Organization (WHO) says based on available literature, the virus had been detected in birds since 1965 in at least six countries (Italy, USA, Canada, South Korea, Sweden and Japan).

The WHO offers the following advice to protect yourself from avian influenza:

  • Avoid contact with sick or dead poultry. Keep children away from poultry.
  • Avoid touching any surfaces that may have been contaminated with poultry feces or blood.
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked poultry. Cook poultry to internal temperature of 70°C (until meat is not pink in the centre) and do not touch cooked meat with raw meat.
  • Clean cooking implements that have been in contact with raw meat before re-using.
  • Wash hands regularly, especially after handling poultry, while cooking and before eating.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • WHO does not recommend any specific measures be applied to travellers at this time.
  • Poultry, poultry products (eggs) and pork can be safely consumed provided they are properly cooked and properly handled during food preparation.

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