Editorial: New bird flu strains

If the bird flu strain H7N9 emerged in China in March this year, causing infections in about 134 people and killing 43, another novel bird flu strain, H6N1, emerged this May in Taiwan. Unlike the H7N9 strain, the latest one has infected just one person, a 20-year-old woman who presented with typical influenza-like symptoms. What … Continue reading Editorial: New bird flu strains

Editorial: No immediate threat from H7N9

The influenza A(H7N9) virus may not have the characteristics required to quickly and easily spread among humans but the first confirmed case of human-to-human transmission recently reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) indicates that it is not completely devoid of such ability either. The novel bird flu strain that emerged in China in late … Continue reading Editorial: No immediate threat from H7N9

Editorial: Silent spread of H7N9

With the continued spread of influenza A(H7N9) virus to 127 people in China and a concomitant increase in the number of deaths (26), the outbreak has confirmed what the World Health Organisation had earlier noted — H7N9 is “definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses we have seen so far.” Nineteen people infected with … Continue reading Editorial: Silent spread of H7N9

H7N9 silently spreads in humans and birds

The novel H7N9 avian flu virus that is currently circulating in certain regions in China has bewildered public health officials within and outside the country. To start with, H7N9 is a product of reassortment of three avian influenza virus strains that “infect only birds.” Reassortment happens when gene swapping takes place between two or more … Continue reading H7N9 silently spreads in humans and birds

Editorial: The next contagion

The influenza A(H7N9) virus, a novel bird flu strain that emerged in China, has infected nine people and already killed three. Unlike the H5N1 virus that is widely endemic in poultry in Asia, this strain is unique in several ways. The most important among them is that it has turned out to be lethal; the … Continue reading Editorial: The next contagion