June 10, 2013
By Richard Knox
Excerpt: [editing is mine]
Monday's warning comes at the end of a six-day WHO investigation in Saudi Arabia, where 40 of the 55 cases of the respiratory disease have occurred. Sixty percent of those people with known infections died.
Meanwhile, recent reports in the journal "Cell" present evidence that two other worrisome viruses —H5N1 and H7N9 flu — may be on the verge of becoming more contagious in humans.
Recent samples of these bird flu viruses are only one or two genetic mutations away from developing the ability to latch onto receptors lining the respiratory tracts of humans, biologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say.
"Some of them are one amino acid away from achieving the necessary strength or affinity to latch onto human receptors,"
Full article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/10/189501266/triple-threat-middle-east-respiratory-virus-and-2-bird-flus?ft=1&f=1001&sc=tw&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter