The first known human case of the H3N8 strain of bird flu has been recorded in China. The country’s National Health Commission on Tuesday said a four-year-old boy living in central Henan province tested positive for the strain. He had been hospitalised earlier this month with fever and other symptoms, news agency AFP reported. This is the first case of human infection with the H3N8 strain of avian flu. Here is all you need to know about it:
1. H3N8 is a subtype of the species Influenza A virus. It is known to infect birds, horses and dogs.
2. H3N8 is also known as equine influenza virus as it is the main cause of equine influenza – a highly-contagious respiratory disease that affects horses, donkeys, zebras and mules.
3. This strain does not have "the ability to effectively infect humans,” China’s National Health Commission said. The boy infected with H3N8 had been living in close proximity to chickens and wild ducks and was directly infected by the birds.