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At least three Chinese patients have died as a consequence of getting infected by the newest strain of influenza and scientists are already calling for a heightened state of alert given what the strain is capable of doing. The H7N9 virus, which seems not to be able to kill animals, is fatal on humans. The H7N9 strain has never been seen before and seems to use animals as a launching pad to later infect people. Scientists refer to it as a virus with the potential to have major public health significance.

“Chinese scientists are to be congratulated for the apparent speed with which the H7N9 virus was identified,” write their counterparts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It is so, because the Chinese scientists managed to sequence the whole viral genome to then make them public and available so other scientists can investigate further. “Because this H7N9 virus has not been detected in humans or animals previously, the situation raises many urgent questions and global public health concerns.”

Scientists now will concentrate on analyzing whether the virus has any chance of jumping from person to person, or if its capacity to spread is limited to going from an infected animal to a person. If the first scenario is true, it would set the stage for a potential global pandemic with a ‘sustained human-to-human transmission’. Scientists are also working on determining transmission dynamics, modes, basic reproductive number, and incubation period for the virus strain.

Read more important information here:  http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/new-influenza-strain-might-signal-the-start-of-a-pandemic/

 

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