New deadly bird flu not immediate global threat

According to reports the latest bird flu detected in china, the H10N8, is not an imminent global threat according to researchers and resources should be spent on other Avian influenzas emerging out of Asia.

“This has been a pretty rare event in one place in China. It highlights the need to be aware, but I don’t think there’s an imminent threat,” said Dr John McCauley, the director of the World Health Organization Influenza Centre at the Medical Research Council’s National Institute for Medical Research in a BBC interview.

The H1N1 influenza was present in the Caribbean with some confirmed cases across the region.

McCauley however cited the need for all to be aware of its existence, nonetheless. The study on the latest bird flu to emerge, was published by the journal Nature and it analyzed “how well the surface of the virus could bind to human tissue” which is indicative of the likelihood of spreading.

Researchers in the United Kingdom working with the UK Medical Council reportedly examined the molecular structure of the latest strain and have indicated that it is not similar to the previous pandemics and said that resources ought to be focused on other flu viruses emerging out of South East Asia in particular.

According to reports the H7N9 emerged in March last year with more than 100 cases presenting in one month alone. In addition the deadly H5N1 Influenza is known to kill two in three people infected with the virus.

Animal to human transmission

There is a phenomenon, however, of animal to human transmission in China where populations live in close proximity to live poultry markets which the researchers say needs to be contained and addressed before it becomes a major problem.

The research into the H10N8 virus indicated the likelihood of bird to bird transmission and not animal to human transmission but researchers say that this too still needed to be addressed and studied.

“There are higher priorities than H10N8. Other avian influenzas emerging in China or those around for the past 10 years pose a more significant threat than H10N8,” McCauley said. (Pic – source BBC)

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