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How Concerned Should We Be About H10N3?

H10N3 - Episode Preview and Article

Written by: Alvina Anwar - Writer for the Topilitical article chain

It's safe to say that this last year has been difficult for everyone. No matter what situation you're in, this pandemic has taken its toll on the population in several ways. Physically, education-wise, financially and mentally. The overall happiness and health of society have decreased by a significant amount.

What if we told you there was a chance for this to all to happen again? No, not with another wave of COVID-19. With an entirely new but still very damaging bird flu. It may seem frustrating, ridiculous and unreal, but unfortunately, it could happen.

On 05/28/21, Bejing's National Health Commission (NHC) reported the first human case of H10N3. An unnamed 41-year-old man in China's Eastern Province of Jiangsu got diagnosed with the very first human case of the H10N3 bird flu. He had been hospitalized in April 2021 and got diagnosed just recently. Details on how he was infected were not shared with the media.

As you most likely know, COVID-19 originally began by a bat flu, very similar to the way H10N3 was contracted in this individual. Although he is now stable and there have been no other confirmed human cases of H10N3, citizens are terrified at the thought of another virus taking over the globe and rightly so. Many people didn't think much of COVID at first,

but within a few weeks, it ruined the world. Some believe that something similar could happen with H10N3.

Fortunately, the chances of this happening are quite low. According to the NHC, "H10N3 is low pathogenic, which means it causes relatively less severe disease in poultry and is unlikely to cause a large-scale outbreak". This is better news, as COVID is highly pathogenic. That means that the total chances of H10N3 breaking out identically to COVID-19 are weak.

However, this doesn't mean H10N3 isn't a threat at all. The reason the man was hospitalized to begin with is that he was experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This leads some to panic, as it's just another thing to worry about. A few short years ago, when you felt a cold or fever coming on, it was just that. However, now you have to consider all possibilities. This leads many to stress and wonder if the government is taking any action against it.

However, there isn't enough reasoning or proof for the government to go under further limitations for this. First off, the world is just starting to recover from COVID-19. Some places are still in lockdown, and the effects of a vaccination (which we discussed in our vaccine article) haven't happened yet. Secondly, this just seems like a one-time scenario. Although this may seem doubtful, as many thought the first COVID-19 case was a one-time scenario, this is different.

According to a statement given by the World Health Organization (WHO), "The source of the patient’s exposure to the H10N3 virus is not known at this time, and no other human cases were found in emergency surveillance among the local population. At this time, there is no indication of human-to-human transmission." That means that the chances of the virus spreading to anyone else are unlikely since the man was hospitalized very quickly and the overall pathogens aren't very high.

However, the first case of COVID-19 wasn't taken seriously as he continued to interact with society, which as we know, spread the virus further. This is because, at the time, the last worldwide pandemic was the Spanish Flu, which ended about a century ago. As well, all the signs he showed just mimicked those of your regular seasonal fever. So, until the virus started spreading across the globe and killing hundreds, there was little action taken. This is different from H10N3. Doctors managed to isolate and recover the very first human case, giving no time to spread it to others. That means the chances of even a small lockdown occurring in China (where H10N3 started) are pretty unlikely. So relax, there's no need to worry about H10N3.

Nevertheless, we do still need to be alert and cautious of future viruses. This raises the question countless civilians wonder daily: "When will the next pandemic happen?". Since many governments are trying their hardest to end our current pandemic, we honestly can't say for sure. However, it will be a long time.

With fast advancing medicine and more attention to unknown diseases, the likelihood of another pandemic happening with a virus separate from COVID is low. The fear and mental exhaustion of quarantining, as well as the financial struggle for those with small businesses, hopefully, and scientifically, won't be a worry for a long time after this ends.

If you like the topic of handling H10N3, COVID-19 and future pandemics, we've got good news for you. On 06/06/21, we have a discussion planned on this very topic. Although there will be no specific sides due to this being a discussion rather than a debate, we will have Sheng Chang Li and David Barbu on the mic this Saturday. They'll conference about ideas mentioned in this article and some of their own. Until next time, stay on top and stay Topilitical.

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