Lots going on this morning in the world of H7N9! Today, two more human cases of H7N9 bird flu were reported in the Shanghai Municipality, bringing the total number of infected people in the country to 33.
A Hong Kong professor who was among the first to crack the DNA code of the H7N9 virus suspects poultry farms are the direct transmission route of the current outbreak and it has little to do with wild birds. In order to trace the route of infection and control the virus, the next step would be to investigate poultry markets and then farms – a task that would require extensive sampling.
This morning, Bloomberg reported that H7N9 virus has shown signs of genetic diversity since the first three patients were diagnosed AND it already appears more infectious than the H5N1 strain of bird flu that has been circulating since 2003. (Richard Webby, director of a World Health Organization collaborating center for the virus at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis)
And finally, Chinese officials are looking at two families to see if human-to-human transmission of the H7N9 avian flu occurred, a spokesman for the WHO said yesterday.
Stay tuned – follow Twitter #H7N9 for the fastest and most comprehensive information.