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 China Thinks Its Bird Flu Might Be Spreading from Human To Human

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Eric

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PostSubject: China Thinks Its Bird Flu Might Be Spreading from Human To Human   Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:22 am

From The Atlantic Wire: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/04/china-bird-flu-human-to-human/64339/

"So far, 17 of the 82 infected people have died!" If it has mutated and human-to-human transmission is possible, this is very worthy of our diligence in monitoring the virus. CDC is working on a vaccine (or, has made one), but none is being produced currently.


Quote :
Since the first cases of the deadly H7N9 bird flu strain appeared in Shanghai earlier this month, Chinese health officials told the world not to panic because they couldn't find solid evidence of human-to-human transmission in any of what have grown into 82 reported infections. They maintained that until, well, guess what China's health experts are saying for the first time today? "Human-to-human transmission, in theory, is possible, but is highly sporadic," Feng Zijian, director of the health emergency center of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters in China on Thursday. "Further investigations are still under way to figure out whether the family cluster involved human-to-human transmission," Feng added.

The "family cluster" he's talking about is a case in which two sons may have contracted bird flu from their father, an 87-year-old man thought to be the first reported case of China's H7N9 virus, according to China Daily. Perhaps even more worrisome: The World Health Organization said Wednesday that there are other humans, aside from the two brothers being investigated, who appear to have contracted the deadly virus without any contact with poultry. (Even though it's called bird flu, that's how the Contagion thing was supposed to work with the spread of H729.) "It might be because of dust at the wet markets, it could be another animal source beside poultry, it could also be human-to-human transmission," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told Reuters. So, to be clear, officials aren't quite sure how people who aren't handling poultry are getting this strain of bird flu. And, to be sure, that's pretty scary.

Based on their experience with other strains of bird flu, Chinese health officials maintain that if H729 is, indeed, in the human-to-human transmission phase, it's only on a very small scale. "Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist with China CDC, said people infected with H7N9 can transmit the virus within a period of time, in which they could possibly infect others," reported China Daily. But, Feng added, "that's highly rare and could be limited to within a family" ... "people don't need to panic, because such limited human-to-human transmission won't prompt a pandemic." As of Thursday 17 of the 82 infected people have died.

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PostSubject: Re: China Thinks Its Bird Flu Might Be Spreading from Human To Human   Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:24 pm

Call me paranoid, but this strain of flu (H7N9) scares me. It is especially lethal.

From the BBC:

Quote :
A 53-year-old businessman in Taiwan has the first case of the H7N9 bird flu virus outside mainland China, health officials there have confirmed.

The man is in a serious condition in hospital days after returning from the Chinese city of Suzhou, officials say.

China has confirmed 108 cases of H7N9 since it was initially reported in March, with at least 22 people dead.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says this strain appears to spread more easily from birds to humans.

The man in Taiwan was brought to hospital three days after he arrived from Suzhou via Shanghai, officials say.

He was not in contact with poultry, nor had he eaten undercooked birds while in Suzhou, Taiwanese Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta told local media.

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has ordered the health department to step up prevention measures, says the country's Central News Agency.
'Unusually dangerous'

Experts are still trying to understand the H7N9 virus, and it has not yet been determined whether it could be transferred between humans.

"This is definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses we have seen so far," WHO flu expert Dr Keiji Fukuda said at a news conference in Beijing.

"When we look at influenza viruses this is an unusually dangerous virus."

He added that the WHO team was just beginning its investigation. But he said that based on the evidence, "this virus is more easily transmissible from poultry to humans than H5N1", a strain which spread in 2003.

Dr Fukuda led a team from the WHO on a one-week China visit to study H7N9, along with Chinese officials from Beijing and Shanghai.

The WHO believes that poultry is still the likely source of the H7N9 outbreak in China.

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