Originally published April 12, 2023 4:31 am PDT
The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Tuesday that a 56-year-old Chinese woman has become the first person to die from Avian Influenza A (H3N8).
“On 27 March 2023, the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China notified WHO of one confirmed case of human infection with an avian influenza A(H3N8) virus,” the announcement reads. “The patient was a 56-year-old female from Guangdong province with an onset of illness on 22 February 2023. She was hospitalized for severe pneumonia on 3 March 2023 and subsequently died on 16 March 2023.”
Guangdong province was among the earliest areas to report COVID-19 cases outside of Wuhan.
The WHO announcement also indicated the woman suffered from “multiple underlying conditions” as well as a “history of exposure to live poultry before the onset of the disease, and a history of wild bird presence around her home.”
Although the woman represents the third person known to have been infected with the H3N8 subtype of avian influenza, all of the cases have occurred in China, the first two being reported last year.
Another bird flu death occurred in China in 2009 when a 19-year-old woman from the country’s northern region who handled ducks died in Beijing from the disease.
Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield admitted in a March 2022 interview that former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci had signed off on gain-of-function research to be performed on bird flu viruses.
Dr. Redfield was apparently referencing a 2012 publication in the journal Science funded by NIAID and National Institutes of Health (NIH) that revealed the ease with which the H5N1 avian influenza virus could be turned into an airborne spreader in mammals.
“This is a major disagreement I’ve had with my colleague Dr. Fauci—when they decided to publish the amino sequence changes that were required to make bird flu a pathogen for humans,” Dr. Redfield said in the interview. “I felt we shouldn’t publish that. We shouldn’t be doing this research. It’s potentially too dangerous [and] could cause a pandemic.”
Later on in the interview, Redfield predicted a coming bird flu pandemic would be much worse than the COVID pandemic.
“I don’t believe [COVID] is the ‘great pandemic,’” he argued. “I believe the great pandemic is still in the future. And that’s going to be a bird flu pandemic from man. It’s going to have significant mortality, in the ten to fifteen percent range. It’s going to be trouble. And we should get prepared for it.”
Meanwhile, during a recent town hall discussion at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Fauci declared that another pandemic is inevitable.
There “will absolutely be an outbreak of another pandemic” and even suggested that it could occur as early as next year, Fauci said.
“It may be next year or it may be in your grandparent—your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren’s lifetime. We don’t know.”
Fauci has been accused of approving funding gain-of-function research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is believed by some to have led to the emergence of COVID-19.
Despite his denials, the NIH admitted to funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab in a letter to U.S. Representative James Comer (R-KY).
NIH principal deputy director Lawrence A. Tabak wrote in the letter that EcoHealth Alliance funneled U.S. funds to the Wuhan lab, which in turn conducted a “limited experiment” to test whether “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.”