Title: China, H7N9 influenza virus does not efficiently transmit from human to human so far, but such scenario cannot be excluded in future, Zhong Nanshan.
Subject: Avian Influenza, H7N9 subtype, pandemic potential
Source: Local Media, full page: (LINK). Article in Chinese.
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China, H7N9 influenza virus does not efficiently transmit from human to human so far, but such scenario cannot be excluded in future, Zhong Nanshan
Beijing, 8 Mar (Xinhua) - Zhong Nanshan, director of the National People's Congress (NPC) and director of the Chinese Academy of Science and director of the State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases in Guangzhou, said in Beijing that there is no evidence that H7N9 flu gained the ability to spread between people so far. There is confidence that China will control the epidemic.
Winter and spring is H7N9 and other respiratory viruses high incidence season. Since the winter last year, affected by climate and other factors, the global animal avian flu epidemic was high trend. Since December 2016, H7N9 epidemic has been on the rise in some parts of China. In February this year, China found some H7N9 viruses with highly pathogenic trait for chicken, isolated both from birds and human cases.
Zhong Nanshan, an interview with reporters told that from January 1 this year to March 4, China found a total of 367 cases of H7N9 influenza, of which 116 cases died, with a mortality rate of more than 30%.
H7N9 virus is a influenza A virus, one of its main features is gene reassortment and mutation. Some mutations may lead to an improved viral fitness to human host, increase in virulence and in human-to-human transmission. The evolution of the virus is something to look for.
Zhong Nanshan said that two cases of H7N9 virus mutants have been found to be resistant to the previously used drugs, and omse have been found to harbour in poultry.
"This new variant virus would cause symptoms in poultry, but does not seem to increase severity of symptoms in humans. Is it possible that it will become human adapted? So far there are no evidences, but there is the possibility, so the need to strengthen the poultry market Management. "
Zhong Nanshan also said that the an epidemic of H7N9 flu in China would likely result in a scenario like that seen in in 2015 in Korea with the MERS epidemic, with substantial damages for the national economy. He said that China had experience in dealing with atypical pneumonia since 2003, and that the government has taken strict measures and is confident that it will control the epidemic. (Finish)
Keywords: Avian Influenza, H7N9, human, Pandemic Influenza.