Thursday, July 4, 2013

#H7N9 Flu Virus’ Ability to Replicate Deep in Lung Triggers Dangerous Immune Response

[This article is much easier to understand, than the one I posted out of China.]

by Kathy Jones on  July 04, 2013
Editing is mine - Excerpt:
A new study revealed that the H7N9 bird flu virus has the ability to replicate deep in the lungs from where it can trigger a dangerous response from the immune system.

In addition, no one is likely to have pre-existing immunity to H7N9 and so-called seasonal vaccines cannot protect against it, the study said, confirming suspicions among many virologists. 

And while lab tests show that leading anti-flu drugs are effective, there are concerns the virus may acquire gene mutations to blunt these weapons, it added. 

The study, published in Nature by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Beijing, delved into the genetic ID of the virus which emerged in China in February. 

The virus has been characterised by severe symptoms of pneumonia and respiratory distress, with a high fatality rate, especially among the elderly. 

The paper said "the first epidemic has subsided" but a potent threat remains. 

"Together with the challenges in the available treatments for H7N9 infection caused by its clinical severity and emerging antiviral resistance, further unpredictable evolution and adaptation of the H7N9 virus and the lack of pre-existing immunity leave the human population at high risk," it said. 

"The threats of the H7N9 virus with pandemic potential should not be underestimated and intensive surveillance must be undertaken." 

H7N9 kills more than a third of hospitalised patients, The Lancet reported last month.

No comments: