H7N9 may mutate 8 times faster than regular flu

In an article recently posted by South China Morning Post print edition on Apr 10, 2013 it was noted that the new Avian flu H7N9 has now been shown to mutate very quickly.

In fact so quickly that they are comparing it to HIV, this is very alarming since a quick mutation rate will make the manufacture of a working vaccine very difficult.

The number of deaths associated with the new flu strain has risen to 51 and Forbes is now reporting the “New Bird Flu H7N9: Could Pose Global Threat” H7N9 causes unusually severe respiratory infection, sepsis and brain damage, and appears to be resistant to vaccination and treatment.

In a commentary on “global concerns” pertaining to H7N9, also in the NEJM, influenza experts Timothy Uyeki, MD and Nancy Cox discuss the potential of H7H9 to cause a pandemic (a fast-moving global epidemic) and warn that this possibility is real.

In positive news

InfectedHenan province in central China today confirmed two cases of the virus, raising the number of people infected to 51. Beijing reported its first case yesterday — a 7-year-old girl who is recovering in hospital.

On early treatment of infections:

“We feel that early treatment with proper anti-viral drugs can be an effective way to proceed, and we see that now perhaps with this girl in Beijing.

“She was under treatment early and in a stable condition, so early treatment is always important in these situations.

“We know also that the virus when untreated is very serious and many people are in critical situation and quite a number have died, so we advocate for early treatment and good medical care.”

I do want to remind people this is something to keep an eye on, regardless of other events in the world we should not let our guard down. Stay watchful

-Joshua

Anteros Oberon
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