Saturday, April 6, 2013

Worrying Traits of H7N9 Bird Flu Strain Concern Experts

[editing is mine]
by Kathy Jones on  April 06, 2013

Experts say that a mutated bird flu virus that has killed six people in China displays worrying traits that warrant high vigilance.
"I am cautiously worried," virologist John Oxford of the Queen Mary University of London told AFP.

"If there were four cases in Shanghai, I would be much less concerned, but because it is so geographically widespread I think it is trying to tell us something.

"It is not a deadly virus for chickens so it could spread in chickens without anyone knowing it. I suspect it's probably wider than we think."
"Any influenza that jumps from an animal species to a human has pandemic potential," Alan Hampson, chairman of the Australian Influenza Specialist Group, said in a statement issued by the Science Media Centre.

"If it learns to spread in humans, if it actually acquires that ability, then it's a high likelihood that it will become pandemic."

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