Will there be a bird flu pandemic? Man in China becomes first human case of avian flu, authorities clueless

A 41-year-old man from Zhenjiang province became the first person in the world to be infected with the H10N3 strain. It is still unclear how the man was infected


                            Will there be a bird flu pandemic? Man in China becomes first human case of avian flu, authorities clueless
Chickens sit in cages at a market on January 15, 2004, in Hong Kong. (Photo by Xi Zeng/Getty Images)
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The world as we know is already struggling to survive the second wave of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, but there is reportedly another infection outbreak that has the Internet going into the collective meltdown mode. China has reported the first human case of H10N3 avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu.

According to Reuters, a 41-year-old man from Zhenjiang province became the first person in the world to be infected with the H10N3 strain. It is still unclear how the man was infected, but according to Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC), the man was hospitalized on May 28 after being diagnosed with H10N3 on April 28. However, the man, who has not been identified, is reportedly stable and will be shortly discharged.

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“The source of the patient’s exposure to the H10N3 virus is not known at this time, and no other cases were found in emergency surveillance among the local population. At this time, there is no indication of human-to-human transmission," the WHO said of the case in a statement.

"As long as avian influenza viruses circulate in poultry, sporadic infection of avian influenza in humans is not surprising, which is a vivid reminder that the threat of an influenza pandemic is persistent,” the statement added.

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Medical authorities have largely brushed off the case as a sporadic virus transmission and declared that the risk of the pathogen causing a pandemic is extremely low. However, the paranoia stemming from the coronavirus pandemic was evident on social media, which feared another deadly outbreak as the world was already reeling under an ongoing health crisis.

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"'but that the risk of large-scale spread is low.' Hmm... We have heard this before..." one Twitter user remarked.

"As we know, the Chinese government is a very reliable source of information," another added.

"why do the sequels always suck," a third quipped.

"You know the drill, start stocking your TP and paper towels," another wrote.


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Netizens also poked fun at the news using GIFs, albeit laced with a jaded sense of impending doom.

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This came as The Washington Post acquired thousands of Dr. Anthony Fauci's emails to have a peek into his world in the early frantic days of the pandemic, in March-April, 2020. From mask mandates to what keeps him up at night, the emails cover everything. The 866 pages of correspondence were acquired as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

Records show that Fauci was inundated with correspondence from colleagues, hospital administrators, foreign governments, and random strangers — about 1,000 messages a day, he says at one point — writing to seek his advice, solicit his help, or simply offer encouragement.

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The longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was struggling to bring coherent guidance to those who sought his help. Some were especially significant, like when the medical director of the National Football League Players Association asked Fauci for a confidential briefing on how to safely start the next NFL season.

A documentary filmmaker working on a forthcoming Disney-backed biopic asked to ride along as Fauci drove to work. An adviser to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates expressed concern about Fauci’s health. And a senior House Republican told Fauci to “keep being a science truth-teller” despite skepticism about the virus.

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