Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Apparent person-to-person transmission of H7N9 bird flu is reported in eastern China

The British Medical Journal is reporting possible transmission of the H7N9 bird flu virus person-to-person in China, in the eastern inland part of the country.  This occurred in March 2013 between a father (index case) and daughter who cared for him and then herself died.  The link for the story is here

It appears that other family members or neighbors were exposed and did not become ill; likewise, there haven’t been other incidents between March and April. Sanjay Gupta discussed the report on CNN Wednesday morning.
CBS news has a layman’s story and video report here
The suggestion so far is that repeated close contact can lead to person-to-person transmission of this form of bird flu.  Could it become a pandemic if an infected person flew on a commercial plane?

It seems imperative that vaccine work on H7N9 an H5N1 move as quickly as possible.  The public health measures (“social distancing”) can become quite disruptive indeed.  

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