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  • Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

    Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

    In an article entitled, Epidemiological and risk analysis of the H7N9 subtype influenza outbreak in China at its early stage published in the Chinese Science Bulletin, Chinese researchers review the case data on human A(H7N9) infections and conclude that there is high risk of A(H7N9) causing a pandemic. They speculate that such a pandemic would be severe and have a higher mortality rate than the recent 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

    From the article:
    In light of the above considerations, we think that the H7N9 outbreak is severe, and it is likely to become very or extremely severe in the future, highlighting the emergent need of forceful scientific measures, such as building enough stockpile of H7N9 vaccine for human use in case the pandemic really occurs. . . .We do not exclude completely the possibility that the H7N9 will disappear naturally, or maintain its low pathogenicity in birds and limited transmission ability in humans for a long period, without forceful scientific control measures. However, such a mild scenario of the outbreak evolution is of less possibility than the very or extremely severe scenario describe above. The main reason is that some random mutations leading to the improved adaption of the virus to humans will emerge naturally during its long existence in humans, as the virus usually evolves rapidly. These mutants will become dominant by natural selection as they are more adaptive in humans. They thus may spread in humans rapidly and can spark a deadly pandemic. Similarly, the H7N9 virus of low pathogenicity in birds is more likely to become highly pathogenic through natural selection. . .
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  • #2
    Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

    It was noted earlier that a very high case fatality ratio could not result an efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission.

    The time-frame of the predicted circulation of this new virus, reported in the paper, would likely span through a decade.

    But if the risk is considered impending, and signals of an efficient interhuman transmission proven, there would not be the time for a such degree of mutation described above.

    In other words, the construction behind the conclusion drawn by the Authors lacks of solid scientific basis and should be taken with extreme caution.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

      I must respectfully disagree. My rationale is based on the high number of cases we know of in the short period of a few months. I believe there are more-possibly many more cases that have not been reported. We still do not know what the real

      vector is. While chickens undoubtedly play a role they are not implicated in at least 20&#37; of the known cases. Wet markets may also be hotspots for contageon but again, many of those infected never went to a wet market. I believe that

      something that flies or crawls in and out of wet markets as well as parks and balconies is our villian. If the culprit is a tiny bird or even a rodent then eradicating all of the species locally would be an impossible task. Add to the equation, the virus

      has been found within or close to mega cities. The opportunity to explode if and when the virus adapts to humans is astounding. The other constant is the number of travelers in and out of these mega cities and, the speed in which they arrive at

      their final destinations.

      As for the CFR, we are a dead end for the virus in any case. If the flu killed off every human on earth (I don't believe this will happen!) then the virus would go on anyway, infecting its primary hosts- birds. Eventually all human flu virus mutate to a

      less virulent strain but that takes time. That time would involve at least months. In past societies that traveled at a slower pace an out break might have been controlled. Today with modern air travel and a 4/10 incubation period we have no

      hope of limiting the initial spike in readily transmitted cases. Therefore, if you have what appears atm to be a strain that has a very high cfr, thousands of flights in and out of China in a day, and a virus that suddenly mutates to a more completely

      human adapted strain you have pandemic. Even if the CFR were to take a nosedive you would still be left with a novel bird flu in the human population. We know from 1918 and H5N1 that humans do not adjust well to these varients.

      So while I am not utterly convinced that a pandemic is a certainty, I do believe the possibility definitly exists. We should do everything in our power to limit the scope and vacines are a good place to start. Especially as it may take more than one

      jab to initiate a good response to infection. And to give us time to perfect the vax so we don't have the problems we did with H1N1 vacines in Europe.
      Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

      Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
      Thank you,
      Shannon Bennett

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

        What do we have proof of that we can see in the threads on this site?

        1) There is an epidemic of H7N9 influenza virus in the Eastern part of China.

        2) It is infecting people of all ages.

        3) It can cause severe respiratory and organ failure.

        4) Some weird wet market phenomena has been blamed for the spread to humans.

        5) It might be able to spread to another human being in a close contact situation.


        What conclusions do I draw from this?

        1) I am not traveling to China because I think their explanation for the cause of this disease is extremely lacking in the facts.

        2) I will not be eating any poultry, pig, wild bird products from China until the Chinese identify the source of this disease.

        3) Everyone in China should employ virus avoidance techniques to prevent the H7N9 virus from making them sick.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

          The general points made by the authors of this paper are correct. However, as Giuseppe notes, the time frame for such mutations and or reassortments are not known. The H7N9 pandemic strain could be developing in the index case this very minute. Or, it could take years for the process to unfold. Or this strain could die out as quickly as it originated.

          A(H5N1) provides an analogy. It is virulent when it infects humans, but it has been infecting people since 1997 and we have not yet experienced an H5N1 pandemic. We need a better understanding of how viruses change and how they spread before we can predict which virus will cause the next pandemic and more importantly, when the next pandemic will occur.
          http://novel-infectious-diseases.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

            Ah but Al this virus is already better adapted to humans than H5N1 ever was. It might take years but it also might take months.
            The virus has billions of humans to experiment with, all living in close proximity to whatever it is that is infecting them. But your comments still beg the question of whether this virus will become a severe pandemic. The possibility exists........as to when?
            Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

            Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
            Thank you,
            Shannon Bennett

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

              To me, the line that raises the most questions is - "we think the virus can also infect pigs". Why do you think that? Are there as yet unreleased positive pig results that are not common knowledge? Are pigs being "test infected"? ...
              Twitter: @RonanKelly13
              The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

                Originally posted by Ronan Kelly View Post
                To me, the line that raises the most questions is - "we think the virus can also infect pigs". Why do you think that? Are there as yet unreleased positive pig results that are not common knowledge? Are pigs being "test infected"? ...
                I agree.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

                  Pretty strong article ya got goin there. Have mercy, they don't cut any slack in it. We see what is happening and the water is gettin hot!

                  ..From the toll increase trend, we think that the H7N9 outbreak will become a Grade IV (very severe) outbreak at the end of this April, because the toll will
                  exceed 100 at that time.
                  .. Uh that's in a couple days. I wonder what they are thinking nowadays

                  ...Eighthly, the probable long existence of the H7N9 virus
                  in humans will provide the driving force to the virus to
                  adapt to humans through mutations. The virus may thus
                  obtain human-to-human transmission, and may spark a pandemic influenza thereafter. The possible pandemic should
                  likely be very dangerous with the consideration that the virus
                  has showed highly pathogenicity in the first 91 cases.

                  Some experts thought that the H7N9 outbreak was not
                  that serious. They mainly analyzed the present status rather
                  than its future development. Additionally, some people may
                  think that the possible H7N9 pandemic influenza should not
                  be that deadly, as we have just passed through the pandemic influenza caused by the novel swine H1N1 influenza virus
                  emerging in 2009. However, influenza pandemics caused by
                  different virus strains may be of different severity [13]. The
                  H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009 was mild mainly because
                  seasonal H1N1 influenza viruses had widely circulated in
                  humans for decades before the pandemic, which resulted in
                  some immunity in humans against the novel pandemic
                  H1N1 virus, especially in the elderly (so their infections
                  were much fewer, as showed by Figure 1). In contrast, H7
                  subtype influenza virus has never widely circulated in humans, and thus persons of all ages are likely susceptible to
                  the virus infection. Therefore, the future possible H7N9
                  pandemic will be likely more severe than the pandemic
                  H1N1 influenza in 2009
                  CSI:WORLD http://swineflumagazine.blogspot.com/

                  treyfish2004@yahoo.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

                    so many Chinese scientists ... are these creditworthy ?

                    zero hits for reassortment in the paper, did they check the reassortment
                    studies ?

                    as for H5N1 ... only recently we figured out what it may need
                    to go pandemic. Just give us some more time, we might finally
                    succeed to create one
                    I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
                    my current links: http://bit.ly/hFI7H ILI-charts: http://bit.ly/CcRgT

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

                      Originally posted by gsgs View Post
                      so many Chinese scientists ... are these creditworthy ?

                      zero hits for reassortment in the paper, did they check the reassortment
                      studies ?

                      as for H5N1 ... only recently we figured out what it may need
                      to go pandemic. Just give us some more time, we might finally
                      succeed to create one

                      Those scientists are from a top facility in China:

                      China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center in Qindao

                      http://www.dwws.moa.gov.cn/

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                      • #12
                        Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

                        Originally posted by Ronan Kelly View Post
                        To me, the line that raises the most questions is - "we think the virus can also infect pigs". Why do you think that? Are there as yet unreleased positive pig results that are not common knowledge? Are pigs being "test infected"? ...
                        That also struck me as being very significant. Not only do we not know if pigs are being tested, we also don't know if any other mammals have been tested.

                        I'd like to add a couple of facts to the list that Sharon made.


                        6. We know that there can be asymptomatic carriers (4 yr. old boy in Beijing)

                        7. We know that there are both mild and virulent forms.

                        8. We know that China is continuing to use throat swabs as the testing standard for "close contacts" (see xhttp://www.jx.xinhuanet.com/news/focus/2013-04/28/c_115577857.htm) in spite of the evidence of the case in Taiwan who had 2 negative throat swabs even though he was infected.




                        My personal theory is similar to Shannon's. There is something that exists in or passes through wet markets. IF the data from China is accurate, and they haven't found any trace of the virus in poultry farms, then the poultry are being infected en route or while IN the wet markets.



                        "What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it." - Herbert Simon

                        "The benefits of education and of useful knowledge, generally diffused through a community, are essential to the preservation of a free government." - Sam Houston

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                        • #13
                          Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

                          Isn't it really odd that Ministry of Agriculture scientists have published a paper about a disease which is NOT in animals (except a couple of pigeons)?

                          Something is really off here.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

                            chickens aren't animals in China ?
                            I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
                            my current links: http://bit.ly/hFI7H ILI-charts: http://bit.ly/CcRgT

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Discussion - Chinese researchers speculate that Influenza A(H7N9) could cause a severe pandemic

                              They say all of the H7N9 positive samples from chicken are from markets NOT farms.

                              There is some mystery market contagion.

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