Tuesday, August 6, 2013

First study of human transmission of new bird flu raises worries


Tue Aug 6, 2013 6:30pm EDT
* First probable person-to-person transmission of new strain
* Study raises concerns about H7N9'S pandemic potential
* Experts stress virus not spreading easily in people now

By Kate Kelland

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The first scientific analysis of probable human-to-human transmission of a deadly new strain of bird flu that emerged in China this year gives the strongest evidence yet that the H7N9 virus can pass between people, scientists said on Wednesday.

Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) analysing a family cluster of cases of H7N9 infection in eastern China found it was very likely the virus "transmitted directly from the index patient (a 60-year-old man) to his daughter."

Experts commenting on the research said while it did not necessarily mean H7N9 is any closer to becoming the next flu pandemic, "it does provide a timely reminder of the need to remain extremely vigilant."

Continued:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/06/health-birdflu-transmission-idUSL6N0G63ON20130806

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