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Hard to detect, China bird flu virus may be more widespread

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  • Hard to detect, China bird flu virus may be more widespread

    Fri Feb 17, 2017 | 5:48am EST

    Hard to detect, China bird flu virus may be more widespread

    By Dominique Patton | BEIJING

    ...
    "There are very few, if any, clinical signs when this (H7N9) virus infects birds, and that's the main reason we're not seeing reporting coming from poultry farms in China," said Matthew Stone, deputy director general for International Standards and Science at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
    ...
    As many as 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu in China in January alone, up to four times higher than the same month in past years.

    While spikes in contamination rates are normal in January - the main influenza season - the high level of human infections has prompted fears the spread of the virus among people could be the highest on record - especially as the number of bird flu cases reported by farmers has been conspicuously low.

    The high number of human infections points to a significant outbreak in the poultry population that is not being detected, says Guan Yi, director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Center of Influenza Research at the University of Hong Kong.
    ...
    "As scientists, we should be watching this outbreak and the effectiveness of any control measures," said Ian Mackay, a virologist and associate professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. "We don't have a vaccine available for H7N9 in humans, but we do have effective antivirals."

    "So far, the virus does not spread well between humans," he added...
    ...

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-he...-idUSKBN15W0KF
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