By Kate Kelland
MSN News – A new and deadly strain of bird flu that emerged in China in February but seems to have petered out in recent months could reappear later this year when the warm season comes to an end –and could spread internationally, scientists said on Monday.
A study by researchers in China and Hong Kong found only one human case of the H7N9 bird flu strain has been identified since early May.
In the preceding months, the virus, which was unknown in humans until February, has infected more than 130 people in China and Taiwan, killing 37 of them, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The warm season has now begun in China, and only one new laboratory-confirmed case of H7N9 in human beings has been identified since May 8, 2013,” the researchers wrote in a study published in The Lancet medical journal.
But they added: “If H7N9 follows a similar pattern to H5N1, the epidemic could reappear in the autumn.” >>Continue Reading<<
Source and Photo: MSN News, June 24th, 2013
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By Jackie Linden
ANALYSIS – At its global meeting this week, OIE has agreed new standards on tackling antimicrobial resistance and on broiler welfare. Research to develop a vaccine against necrotic enteritis has taken a step forward and an agreement has been signed between a French-based animal health company and a Chinese university for the development of a new H5N1 influenza vaccine.
Posted in Disease, Food Safety, Health Security, News, Poultry
Tagged Animal Health, China, Flu, Food safety, H5N1, Influenza, Poultry disease
By Ed Young
Nature – As the world is transfixed by a new H7N9 bird flu virus spreading through China, a study reminds us that a different avian influenza — H5N1 — still poses a pandemic threat.
A team of scientists in China has created hybrid viruses by mixing genes from H5N1 and the H1N1 strain behind the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and showed that some of the hybrids can spread through the air between guinea pigs. The results are published in Science1.
Flu hybrids can arise naturally when two viral strains infect the same cell and exchange genes. This process, known as reassortment, produced the strains responsible for at least three past flu pandemics, including the one in 2009.
Click here to access the complete article at Nature
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Posted in Food Safety, Health Security, Poultry
Tagged bird flu virus, emerging infectious diseases, Flu, Food safety, H1N1, H5N1, H7N9, Influenza, swine flu pandemic
By David Malakoff
Science – Almost a year after they announced it, leading influenza researchers are ending a voluntary moratorium on certain types of controversial experiments involving the H5N1 avian influenza virus.
In a letter published online today by Science and Nature, 40 researchers declare that the studies should restart now that scientists, government officials, and the public have had time to debate the need for the research and impose new safety measures. “[T]he aims of the voluntary moratorium have been met in some countries and are close to being met in others,” they write, and researchers “have a public-health responsibility to resume this important work.”
Posted in Disease, Documents and Reports, Emerging Themes and Issues, Food Security, Health Security, Poultry, Scientific Advances
Tagged Avian Influenza, chicken, controversial experiments, Flu, H5N1, h5n1 avian influenza virus, Research, Science
By Kai Kupferschmidt
Science – A new vaccine strategy could make flu shots cheaper, safer, and easier to produce. Using synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) instead of proteins purified from viruses, German scientists have shown they can protect mice, ferrets, and pigs against influenza. “This is a very interesting new approach,” says Hans-Dieter Klenk, a virologist at the University of Marburg in Germany who was not involved in the work.
Anthony S. Fauci, Francis S. Collins
Science – Given the yearly challenge of seasonal influenza and the potential catastrophic consequences of future pandemics, the need for intensive basic and clinical influenza research is unquestionable. Although the fruits of decades of research have enabled dramatic improvements in our ability to prevent and treat influenza, many fundamental questions remain, including those related to the complex factors associated with host switching and transmission of influenza viruses. Recent public concern over two H5N1 influenza manuscripts that studied the transmissibility of influenza viruses has triggered intense discussion on dual-use research and the way forward…. >>Read the Complete Article<<
Source and Photo: Science, June 22nd, 2012
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