Scientists concerned at H7N9 bird flu outbreak that has killed 24 people

• Virus killing a fifth of those infected in China• World Health Organisation considers it a serious threatScientists are seriously concerned about a new bird flu virus that is causing severe disease in China, killing a fifth of all those it infects.So far, the virus, known as H7N9, is being transmitted only to humans from chickens, but there are worries that it could mutate into a form that could be passed from one person to another. Five mutations are known to be necessary for that to happen – H7N9 already has two of them. If that occurred, it could spread worldwide with lethal effect.According to the World Health Organisation, there have been 126 cases of H7N9 bird flu, all but one of which were diagnosed in China, with the other in Taiwan in a man who had travelled from China. So far 24 people had died from the disease."The cases are going up daily – about 20% have died, 20% have recovered and the rest are still sick," said Prof John McCauley, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Influenza at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London. "The WHO considers this a serious threat. We're on an alert and we're developing diagnostics and vaccines specifically against the virus."The first comprehensive genetic analysis of the virus is published in the Lancet medical journal on Wednesday. It suggests the virus might have originated from the mixing of viruses from as many as four different origins, including ducks. &q...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Bird flu Asia Pacific World news Infectious diseases Health guardian.co.uk Medical research Microbiology China Editorial Science Source Type: news

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We refer transmission of infections in India which have implications for Pakistan [1]. As compared to Pakistan, the range and burden of infectious diseases are enormous in India including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) contagion in 2002 –2003, Influenza A virus epidemic of 2006 (avian influenza), 2007 Equine influenza, Swine flu pandemic outbreaks in 2009 and 2014 [2]. Moreover, episodes of infectious diseases continue to rise in India, with a recent surge of chikungunya and dengue cases in 2016 [1].
Source: Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Source Type: research
Publication date: 1 September 2018Source: Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Volume 157Author(s): Sébastien Grech-Angelini, Séverine Hervé, Nicolas Rose, Nicolas Barbier, François Casabianca, Oscar Maestrini, Alessandra Falchi, Gaëlle SimonAbstractCorsica is a mountainous French island in the north-western Mediterranean Sea. It is a rural area, where pig farming is a major economic activity. Although no acute respiratory outbreaks due to swine influenza A viruses (swIAVs) have ever been reported in this free-ranging pig breeding system, influenza A viruses (IAVs) could be circulating within th...
Source: Preventive Veterinary Medicine - Category: Veterinary Research Source Type: research
100 years have passed since the first well documented influenza pandemic of the 20th century. Today, the majority of the influenza virus burden is known to be caused by two main types of influenza virus —type A and type B. Human influenza A viruses generally stem from birds and swine, whereas influenza B viruses do not have a known animal reservoir, and simply circulate among human beings. Although pandemics occur unexpectedly, these outbreaks are theorised to emerge after a lengthy reassortment process, and not from the direct introduction of an avian virus into human beings.
Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Correspondence Source Type: research
Publication date: 1 August 2017 Source:Cell Reports, Volume 20, Issue 5 Author(s): Hao Song, Jianxun Qi, Haixia Xiao, Yuhai Bi, Wei Zhang, Ying Xu, Fei Wang, Yi Shi, George F. Gao Low-pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAIVs) have caused a global concern to public health since the first novel LPAIV H7N9 outbreak occurred. The receptor-binding properties of the viral hemagglutinin are one key factor for efficient transmission and infection in humans. Recent evidence shows that H4 subtype viruses have been widely circulating in domestic poultry and human asymptomatic infections might have occurred. Here, we evaluated t...
Source: Cell Reports - Category: Cytology Source Type: research
Conclusion This laboratory study analysed an H7N9 strain of bird flu. Researchers wanted to explore whether a particular change to the surface proteins of a virus was capable of allowing the strain to bind to human tissue. This would theoretically lead to human-to-human transmission of the flu virus. It is worth noting that this ability to attach to human cells does not necessarily mean a mutated bird flu virus will be able to infect, replicate and transmit between humans. Other changes would also be required. However, they were unable to further investigate whether this surface change could lead to human-to-human transmis...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medical practice Source Type: news
AbstractIn recent years multiple novel influenza A strains have emerged in humans. We reviewed publically available data to summarise epidemiological characteristics of distinct avian influenza viruses known to cause human infection and describe changes over time. Most recently identified zoonotic strains have emerged in China (H7N9, H5N6, H10N8) – these strains have occurred mostly in association with visiting a live bird market. Most zoonotic AIVs and swine influenza variants typically cause mild infections in humans however severe illness and fatalities are associated with zoonotic H5N6, H10N8, H7N9 and H5N1 serot...
Source: Archives of Public Health - Category: Global & Universal Source Type: research
Conclusion This modelling study shows how the strains of influenza A – "bird flu" – circulating when a person is born give them lifelong protection against new subtypes with the same H protein groups. The researchers call this immune imprinting. This may help to explain the high severity and mortality rate seen among certain groups. For example, the massive flu pandemic of 1918 was an H1N1 strain. This had a very high fatality rate among young adults, which the researchers consider may have been because when they were born (between 1880 and 1900), H3 was the dominant strain. Therefore they had no prot...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medical practice Source Type: news
Publication date: Available online 7 September 2016 Source:Veterinary Microbiology Author(s): Maria Serena Beato, Luca Tassoni, Adelaide Milani, Annalisa Salviato, Guido Di Martino, Monica Mion, Lebana Bonfanti, Isabella Monne, Simon James Watson, Alice Fusaro In August 2012 repeated respiratory outbreaks caused by swine influenza A virus (swIAV) were registered for a whole year in a breeding farm in northeast Italy that supplied piglets for fattening. The virus, initially characterized in the farm, was a reassortant Eurasian avian-like H1N1 (H1avN1) genotype, containing a haemagglutinin segment derived from the pandemic ...
Source: Veterinary Microbiology - Category: Veterinary Research Source Type: research
ConclusionsThe overall course of illness lasted from 2 to 40 days (median 9 days). Diffused alveolar damage (DAD) was evident in 11 cases, 4 of which had no apparent underlying illness. Obesity was prominent in 12 cases, where three individuals were classified as otherwise healthy. The HA D222G mutation was detected in six cases, 3 of which had no underlying illness. Immunohistochemistry showed the A(H1N1)pdm09 virus to be prominent at the site of inflammation both in close proximity to and inside alveolar structures in the lung tissue. In addition to a possible role for the HA D222G mutation, our findings indica...
Source: Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses - Category: Virology Authors: Tags: Original Article Source Type: research
Contributors : Merika Koday ; Jolie Leonard ; Michael Koday ; Debra Bratt ; James Fuller ; Robert Murnane ; Todd Reinhart ; Amy Hartman ; Kelly Stefano-Cole ; Adriana Forero ; Juliet Morrison ; Michael Katze ; Deborah FullerSeries Type : Expression profiling by arrayOrganism : Macaca fascicularis ; Macaca mulattaRecent avian and swine-origin influenza virus outbreaks illustrate the ongoing threat of influenza pandemic. New vaccines that offer accelerated production and broader, more universal protection against drifted and shifted strains are needed. Here, we investigated a multivalent PMED DNA vaccine for the ability to i...
Source: GEO: Gene Expression Omnibus - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Expression profiling by array Macaca fascicularis Macaca mulatta Source Type: research
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