Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Avian influenza: New evidence for human-to-human contagion - Spiegel Online

Beijing – Researchers have found new evidence to the fact that people have been infected with one another with the deadly H7N9 bird flu. “Our findings underscore that the new virus could trigger a pandemic,” the researchers write Bao Chang-jun by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the southern Chinese city of Nanjing in the “British Medical Journal”.

In March, the new form of H7N9 bird flu was first detected in humans. In the following weeks, the number of infected people rose rapidly. In many of the pathogens caused a lung infection. In most cases, the authorities assumed that the people had been infected in poultry. Thousands of animals were slaughtered and live poultry markets closed.

Then came barely add new infections. Total registered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to July 133 infected, of whom 43 had died – an alarmingly high rate. In April, the WHO had the transmission from person to person in rare cases designated as probable and spoke of three families in which the virus may have spread directly among relatives.

Bao Chang-jun and his colleagues also looked at a family more closely. A 60-year-old father had been infected with the virus in March. Its 32-year-old daughter took care at the bedside without protection around him. Later she became ill, there was no evidence for a direct contact with poultry. Father and daughter died of multiple organ failure. The scientists reported in both an almost identical strain of the pathogen by.

a direct transfer between father and daughter is the most likely explanation for the researchers. However, a final proof will not give it. The study contains no direct evidence that the virus stand before the outbreak of a pandemic. However, the experts stressed: “It is a reminder that we must remain vigilant., The risk of H7N9 is by no means over,”


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