Bird Flu Strain H7N9 Hitting China Not Yet a Pandemic, But..
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 7, 2013 1:06 PM EST
Because the bird flu strain H7N9 that has claimed 27 lives in China has yet to be confirmed that it can be transferred from human to human, health experts said it won't become pandemic. Well, at least not yet or not at least 10 years from now.
"This particular virus is not going to cause a pandemic because it doesn't spread person-to-person," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters. In fact, there were more than 2,000 people reported to have been in direct contact with infected individuals, but only a handful became ill, and still only a few that died from it.
However, Dr Frieden stressed the present composition of the bird flu strain H7N9 does not guarantee it would be like that forever.
"I cannot say with certainty whether that will happen tomorrow, within 10 years or never. But all it takes is a bit of mutation for it be able to go person-to-person."
"If there is evolution in the virus, it could go person-to-person, and that could cause severe pandemic," Dr Frieden said.
Earlier, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the bird flu strain H7N9 was found to be a combination of at least four deadly flu strains.
A new type of "quadruple reassortant" virus, the researchers said it is highly probable that one of those genes came from migratory birds from East Asia and then later transmitted to ducks in the Yangtze River Delta region, where the epidemic first broke out, during migration.
This could be the reason why the bird flu strain H7N9, which researchers said has evolved into at least two different lineages, resisted the drug Tamiflu, a popular anti-flu medicine.
What's more worrisome is that the bird flu strain H7N9 does not give off severe disease in poultry, unlike H5N1.
In tests conducted by Chinese health officials, it found the bird flu strain H7N9 present in chickens, ducks and pigeons.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Ebola Update: Death Toll Reaches 2,461; US$1B Is Needed To Fight It, Says UN
- BC Teachers’ Strike Reaches Tentative Deal With Government, Date of Class Resumptions Still Not Sure
- West Africa Ebola Epidemic To Last 12-18 Months More
- Australia To Lose Hundreds Of Billions Worth Of Infrastructure Due To Rising Sea Levels
- Security for Pope Francis' Albania Trip At Status Quo, Won’t Be Reinforced Despite ISIS Threat – Vatican
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence
- Why Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Not The Best Smartphone To Purchase Now? If You Still Want To, Wait For A Month To Get It Cheap
- Apple iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 October Release Date Roundup: Freshly Leaked Protective Case Debuts Unique Vent Alongside Camera
- Ukraine Crisis: Poland Denies Supplying Weapons To Kiev
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Countdown Begins Oct 8: 8 Killer Specs and Features to Expect
- Canadian IS Jihadist Wants to ‘Play Soccer’ with Heads of US Decapitated Soldiers