Emerging new bird flu strain H10N8


By Rawaz Sulaiman:

Health experts around the worlds have been alarming people today about the discovery of a new strain of flu virus dubbed ‘H10N8’.

The story began when scientists in China demonstrated the particular genetic make-up of a new bird flu virus that caused the death of 73 years old woman last December, this was followed by the admission of a critically ill woman aged 55 years old into hospital in Nanchang on 26 January, 2014 (1).

A research team from the Chinese Center of Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing says in a paper published yesterday in the Lancet medical journal states: ‘’the pandemic potential of this novel virus should not be underestimated’’ (1).

Avian influenza A viruses of various subtypes afflicts people causing different clinical outcomes, ranging from asymptomatic infections (without symptoms) to severe or fatal pneumonia (Inflammation of the lungs). There is no person-to-person transmission in the majority of the cases except in rare cases such as close contact (2).

According to the study, samples derived from a patient’s trachea were subjected to genetic sequencing and revealed positive for H10N8 and negative for H5N1, H7N9, H9N2 and seasonal flu. Adding to these, an epidemiological examination found that the patient had bought a chicken in a live poultry market four days before she got sick. The study also adds that she had no contact with sick people, and no other contact with live poultry throughout the two weeks prior to her illness.

The big concern now is that the new H10N8 virus has evolved some genetic specifications in which may allow it to replicate in humans more efficiently, making it more virulent and more infectious (3).


(1)   Chen H, Yuan H, Gao R, et al. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of a fatal case of avian influenza A H10N8 virus infection: a descriptive study. Lancet 2014 (published online Feb 4) [Abstract]

(2)   The Lancet commentary on the study. Avian influenza A H10N8—a virus on the verge? [Online]. Last access 05 Feb 2014 at: http://download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/pdfs/S014067361460163X.pdf

(3)   Study: H10N8 virus in first human case is novel strain. Center of Infectious Disease  Research and Policy [Online]. Last accessed 05 Feb 2014 at: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/02/study-h10n8-virus-first-human-case-novel-strain

Rawaz Sulaiman was born in 1988 in Sulaimany. He is a vet at the veterinary quarantine, Sulaimany veterinary directorate. He finished his Bachelor degree (B.V.M & S) in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Sulaimany in Kurdistan in 2010. He received his MSc in Biomedical Sciences from Sheffield Hallam University, UK, 2013. After graduation, he resumed with his previous career as a vet in Kurdistan.

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL https://kurdistantribune.com/emerging-bird-flu-strain-hn10n8/trackback/