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China Details First Human Fatality Linked to Novel H10N8 Influenza — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 5, 2014

China Details First Human Fatality Linked to Novel H10N8 Influenza

By Kelly Young

Chinese health officials are reporting the first fatality associated with a novel reassortant avian H10N8 influenza virus.

The study, published in the Lancet, details the case of a 73-year-old woman with several comorbidities who became ill 4 days after visiting a poultry market in Jiangxi province. A novel avian H10N8 virus was identified in a tracheal aspirate specimen obtained from the patient a week after illness onset. A field investigation failed to find an identical virus circulating in poultry from the market.

The patient developed pneumonia and multiple organ failure and died 9 days after symptom onset. No human contacts were infected. Researchers noted that the novel H10N8 virus contains mutations that could increase virulence in mammalian hosts.

The authors conclude: "The pandemic potential of this novel virus should not be underestimated."

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