New bird flu strain raises pandemic fears in China

The Extinction Chronicles

BY BEN KRITZ, TMTON MAY 2, 2017

A new strain of avian influenza, which has high pathogenicity in poultry and can be deadly for humans has surfaced in China, raising fears of a potential pandemic, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported.

The FAO said the new strain represented a worrisome mutation of the H7N9 virus, because until now, it has shown low pathogenicity, meaning that it causes only mild or no illness in poultry. Data from China’s Guangdong province suggests, however, that the new strain has shifted to high pathogenicity in poultry while retaining its capacity to cause severe illness in humans.

Reports indicated that the new strain of H7N9 could lead to high mortality for birds within 48 hours of infection, which could subsequently cause serious economic losses for the poultry industry.

The FAO said that human cases of bird flu have been increasing in China…

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