Bird flu changes could raise risk of widespread transmission to humans

The Jerusalem Post reports: “A subtype of the avian (bird) flu virus, which is endemic in poultry farms in China, is undergoing mutational changes that could increase the risk of the zoonotic disease being passed on to humans, according to a new Chinese/British study.

The researchers said that their findings raise concerns of a potential epidemic or pandemic in the making and that concerted research is urgently needed to closely monitor such viruses in poultry and humans…

Using lab mice and ferrets as models for human infection, the study found that virus has undergone several adaptive changes to cause severe animal infections and making it transmissible by the airborne route between animals.

People, even when vaccinated against human H3N2 virus, appear immunologically naïve to emerging mammalian-adapted H3N8 AIVs and could be vulnerable to infection at epidemic or pandemic proportion, said Prof. Jinhua Liu of the China Agricultural University in Beijing…”

View Original Article