Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Bird Flu Seen Having Some Markers of Airborne Killer

‘More Concern’

Fouchier authored a study last year that showed five genetic tweaks to the deadly H5N1 virus, which has killed more than 600 people since 2003, made it airborne in ferrets, the mammals whose response to flu most closely resembles that of humans.

One of the mutations he made is in an enzyme called polymerase; another was in a protein called hemagglutinin on the surface of the virus. H7N9 has both mutations, he said.

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