Friday, April 19, 2013

WHO: New bird flu not spread easily

Apr 19, 2013
Bangkok Post
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there is no evidence that a new strain of bird flu in China is spreading easily among humans, even though a few people who were close to patients with the virus have fallen sick.

Dr Michael O'Leary, head of WHO's office in China, said 15 global and Chinese health experts are on a weeklong mission in Beijing and Shanghai to learn more about the H7N9 bird flu virus has killed 17 people and sickened 70 others.

O'Leary said a major focus of the mission is to learn how the virus infects humans.

The experts will also study a few "clusters" of confirmed and potential infections that have emerged in the past three weeks though he said there has been no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.
This Monday, April 15, 2013 electron microscope image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the H7N9 virus which can take on a variety of shapes. Almost three weeks after China reported finding a new strain of bird flu in humans, experts are still stumped by how people are becoming infected when many appear to have had no recent contact with live fowl and the virus isn't supposed to pass from person to person. Understanding how the H7N9 bird flu virus is spreading is a goal of international and Chinese experts assembled by the World Health Organization as they begin a weeklong investigation Friday, April 18, 2013. (AP Photo/CDC, C.S. Goldsmith, T. Rowe)

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