Amidst Covid-19 New Deadly Disease Makes the Jump to Humans in China
A butcher prepares meat at a fresh food market in Hong Kong on March 24.
A virus previously only found in animals has now jumped to humans in China — has the nation learned anything from its deadly COVID-19 blunders?
A confirmed case of H3N8 strain of bird flu has been found in a four-year-old boy from the Henan province, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
China’s National Health Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that the child had previously been around his family’s chickens and crows and began exhibiting signs of illness, such as a fever, on April 5.
This strain of avian flu is common to dogs, horses and even seals, but the commission insists there is no risk of human-to-human transmission.
The boy’s sickness is reportedly caused by a reassortant strain, meaning it’s a virus that has mutated to incorporate genes from other strains found in wild birds and poultry.
“We often see a virus spread to a human and then not spread any further, so a single case is not a cause of great concern,” Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health Sir Peter Horby of Oxford University told the The Guardian.
However, other experts warn that the fact that these cases are on the rise among animals — including in the U.S. — means health officials still need to be vigilant.
“I do generally believe we need to be increasing influence surveillance globally quite concertedly right now,” Alexandra Phelan, Georgetown assistant professor at the center for global health science and security, told the news outlet.
“Apart from H3N8, we have seen a number of other new spillover events of influenza from poultry to people over recent years, including H5N8 in Russia and H7N9 and H10N3 in China,” she added.
If all of these reassurances sound familiar, perhaps that’s because it’s very much like the narrative in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just a reminder that there’s no reason to believe China is telling the truth.” Laura Ingraham, host of Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” tweeted Wednesday.
COVID-19 first emerged in humans in China perhaps as early as the summer of 2019.
But by January 14, 2020, Chinese health officials had confirmed there was an outbreak of a new coronavirus that was likely to cause a pandemic — and did nothing, the Associated Press reported.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s regime failed to warn the public as the communist nation prepared for the Lunar New Year that sends millions of travelers through China.
By the seventh day of that week, there were 3,000 people infected with the novel coronavirus that went on to cause a worldwide pandemic.
Even stateside, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was downplaying efforts to stop the virus from reaching our shores as more racism from then-President Donald Trump as late as February 2020.
Though it was clear by March 2020 that virus was a bonafide worldwide crisis — in part because of China’s failure to stop it — the news from the nation was that they had beaten back the virus and were reopening the wet markets — the supposed origin of the cross-species infection — that same month.
Later mentions of a possible lab leak from Wuhan Institute of Virology were completely taboo until a growing body of evidence seemed to prove the virus came from so-called “gain of function” research that mutated the virus from an animal strain to a human one — but China has still not taken responsibility for that either.
And now, not much has changed in China two years into the pandemic that originated there and caused over 6,000,000 deaths worldwide.
Xi’s regime is still locking down its citizens with the pipe dream of zero COVID-19 infections as the virus rages out of control under the usual secrecy.
Of course, none of this means that the newest avian flu jump to a human is cause for alarm — indeed, there’s a history of these infections that often burn themselves out before ever creating a full-blown public health crisis.
And perhaps there’s a chance China has learned the hard lessons of its past and will handle another potential pandemic with a more responsible approach.
However, without anyone in power willing to hold them accountable for any of these sins, the communist regime has no incentive to do anything differently.
And that’s where the real danger lies.