Skip to main content

China reports first H10N8 avian flu death

By Madison Park, CNN
updated 8:36 AM EST, Wed December 18, 2013
Chickens are seen at a poultry farm in China.
Chickens are seen at a poultry farm in China.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A 73-year-old woman, confirmed to have H10N8 avian flu virus, died
  • Woman was from China and suffered several underlying diseases
  • Chinese health authorities: Risk of human infection is low
  • H7N9 outbreak said to pose greater risk to public health

Hong Kong (CNN) -- An elderly woman infected with a strain of avian flu that is rarely seen in humans died in China earlier this month -- marking the first human fatality from the H10N8 virus.

The 73-year-old woman in Jiangxi province was admitted to a hospital on November 30, suffering from several ailments including severe pneumonia, hypertension, heart disease and a muscular weakness condition. She died on December 6.

The woman had a history of contact with live poultry markets, and had visited a live bird market four days before the onset of her illness, according to the World Health Organization.

"According to expert analysis, initial assessments consider the death as an individual case, and risk of human infection is low," a release from China's National Health and Family Planning Commission stated.

Flu update
China's bird flu scare
Virologist: Bird flu 'cause for concern'
New bird flu spreads outside China

People who are elderly or immune-compromised, like the patient, are more susceptible to the serious outcomes from flu.

The people who had been around the woman were in normal health, according to Chinese health authorities. Dr. Leo Poon, associate professor of public health at the University of Hong Kong said he was not really concerned with a possible spread of H10N8.

"I think this is an outlier," he said.

This is not the first human case of the H10 subtype, as the virus has jumped from birds to humans before, according to the scientific literature. In 2010, two Australians workers processing abattoir tested positive for a subtype of H10 infection, but their cases were considered mild.

The H10N8 avian flu virus has been detected in live bird markets in Guangdong Province in China as well as the Dongting Lake wetland, according to previous scientific reports.

Poon said the H7N9 virus, with over 100 confirmed cases in China and two in Hong Kong, is "far more serious." That virus, first reported in China in March 2013, is believed to result from exposure to infected poultry.

The scope of the disease remains unknown, but has raised concern because most patients with H7N9 have been severely ill and 45 have died.

According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of H7N9.

Health authorities recommend washing hands, covering nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. Hong Kong health authorities warned travelers against visiting live poultry markets and to avoid direct contact with poultry, birds and their droppings.

CNN's Keng Fe in Beijing and journalist Naomi Ng contributed to this article.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
updated 2:54 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
updated 11:15 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
updated 9:15 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
updated 10:54 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
updated 10:29 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Fri October 3, 2014
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
 A man uses his smartphone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released by the Ministry of Communications on July 15, 2014. The survey of a thousand participants each from Japan, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea and Singapore, demonstrated that Japan had the fewest rate of the six; Singapore had the highest at 93.1%, followed by South Korea at 88.7%, UK at 80%, and France at 71.6%, and U.S. at 69.6% in the U.S. On the other hand, Japan had the highest percentage of regular mobile phone owners with 28.7%. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
updated 8:20 PM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
The massive street rallies that have swept Hong Kong present a major dilemma for China's leadership.
updated 3:07 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
Chinese wine drinkers need to develop a taste for the cheap stuff, not just premium red wines like Lafite.
updated 9:09 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, set off a media kerfuffle this month when he spoke about his next reincarnation.
updated 10:18 AM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
He's one of the fieriest political activists in Hong Kong — he's been called an "extremist" by China's state-run media — and he's not old enough to drive.
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
China has no wine-making tradition but the country now uncorks more bottles of red than any other.
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
updated 1:38 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT