– Scary new H7N9 bird flu strain leaps from China to Taiwan; human transmission already achieved? (Natural News, April 24, 2013)
The H7N9 bird flu strain is on the rise, having already killed 22 people in China while infecting 108. That’s a kill rate of 20% — among the highest ever witnessed in a bird flu strain. It has also spread outside of China, infecting a Taiwan national who brought the infection back to Taiwan and now rests in critical condition in a Taiwan hospital.
Health authorities in the region haven’t yet said this strain of bird flu has achieved human-to-human transmission, but it seems increasingly likely that such a trait either already exists or will develop very quickly. That’s because the virus has been spreading among chickens without any symptoms showing. It doesn’t make the chickens sick, in other words, allowing chickens to be “stealth carriers” of a virus that can easily leap to unsuspecting humans.
H7N9 is a “triple reassortment” virus that combines genetic code from three different flu virus strains. This makes it “…one of the most lethal influenza viruses that we’ve seen so far,” said Keiji Fukuda, the assistant director-general for health security with the World Health Organization. “This is an unusually dangerous virus for humans.”
Because the virus can quietly spread among non-symptomatic chickens, hundreds more people have almost certainly already been infected with it. In the coming weeks, we will likely see yet more victims hospitalized and killed by H7N9.…