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Avian Influenza Archive from Jun 17, 2014

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News Update June, 17 2014


Avian Influenza in Wild birds

A team of researchers led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has found that some genes from influenza viruses recently isolated from wild birds are very similar to those in the devastating 1918 pandemic flu virus, differing by only a few amino acids. The team’s study, recently published in Cell Host and Microbe, explores the risk that avian influenza virus’s emergence and adaptation to humans, and the potential for a resultant pandemic. According to senior study author Kawaoka, the report’s findings indicate the need for continued surveillance of influenza viruses in wild birds, as well as improved influenza vaccines and antivirals in preparation for a pandemic scenario.

Avian Influenza in Humans

China (H7N9) The Centre for Health Protection recently reported four new human cases of H7N9. Two of the cases were reported in Jiangsu; a 51-year-old male and a 51-year-old female in the province were both hospitalized and are receiving treatment. The two remaining cases both occurred in Shandong; a 61-year-old man who contracted the avian flu from poultry exposure has since died, and a 33-year-old male from the province has been hospitalized and is receiving treatment. The Mainland of China has experienced a total of 433 human cases of H7N9. An official from the Department of Health reports that measures to prevent the spread of the virus are ongoing, and include enhanced disease surveillance, port health measures, boundary control points, and health education, particularly for travelers in and out of the affected areas.


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