File Photo: CFP

H5N8 virus identified on wild birds in Northwest Chinese city

File Photo: CFP

File Photo: CFP

The H5N8 virus, which has killed a large number of wild birds until now, was identified in Yulin, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Local authorities have initiated an emergency response, disposing of the dead animals and disinfecting the area.

H5N8, a subtype of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), was found in a national natural reserve, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs informed on Wednesday. A total of 4,249 wild birds died in the epicenter of the epidemic.

This year, China has reported six cases of HPAIV, and all of them have been in wild animals. The epidemic has occurred sporadically and there are no regional outbreaks.

Last week, East China’s Jiangsu Province reported the world’s first case of a human infected with H10N3 avian influenza. China’s health authorities said later that it was an occasional bird-to-human transmission and the risk of a large-scale spread is extremely low.

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