H7N9 is just so 2013. Come 2014, everyone will be sporting the H10N8 flu, a fancy new virus previously confined to bird species. According to the Jiangxi Daily, H10N8 may have just made its leap out of obscurity and claimed its first human victim.
An elderly woman in Nanchang, Jianxi province, was diagnosed with pneumonia late last month, was admitted to a local hospital, and died less than a week later, according to the South China Morning Post. She was ultimately diagnosed with H10N8, in its first recorded case of human infection:
Unlike H5N1 or H7N9, it was not previously known to have made humans ills. [sic.]
Health authorities said the woman had a compromised immune system and visited a local live poultry market before becoming ill. They said people who had come in contact with the victim were being monitored and had so far showed no signs of the disease.
It doesn’t sound like we’re teetering on the brink of a pandemic just yet, although a peek into the Shanghaiist archives shows that this case has quite a few parallels with the original break-out of H7N9 last April:
These are the first recorded cases of human infection by the H7N9 bird flu, and there is currently no vaccine for the virus.
The three victims range between the ages of 27 and 87 years old, and all initially showed symptoms of fever and coughs which developed into pneumonia, according to a report by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
We’re still looking at pneumonia-to-death, and the H7N9 and H10N8 timelines from hospitalization to death are comparable (somewhere between 5 and 10 days). Hopefully this infection is just a one-off, and the country won’t have to enter influenza lock-down. Hopefully. Please. Hopefully.