China reports death of woman from combined H3N2, H10N5 bird flu

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China has reported the death of a woman due to an infection of combined H3N2 and H10N5 strains of bird flu after a cross-species transmission, but said the risk of human-to-human transmission is low.

The 63-year-old woman from Anhui province had underlying health conditions and developed cough, sore throat, fever and other symptoms on November 30 and died on Dec. 16, the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration in a statement.

Screenings of close-contacts were negative and no suspected cases were found, it said.

Whole genome sequence analyses of the virus showed that the H10N5 virus is of avian origin and did not have the ability to effectively infect humans, the agency said.

"The outbreak is an episodic cross-species transmission from bird to humans," it said.

The risk of the virus infecting people is low, and no human-to-human transmission has occurred, it added.

China has huge populations of both farmed and wild birds of many species, creating an ideal environment for avian viruses to mix and mutate.

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