Saturday, May 4, 2013

UPDATE ON LATEST BIRD FLU


(Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg)
Cases of the latest "bird flu" are increasing, although with some hope that control measures (such as closing of live poultry markets) are slowing down the spread. The human incidents of H7N9 virus are still all in China and Taiwan. Most are in Shanghai, Zheijang and Jiangsu.

In all there are believed to be around 130 confirmed cases now and 27 deaths. But, as has been discussed in previous posts, there have doubtless been many times more than those in the official statistics. And, there will be still more in the days and maybe months, to come.

No conclusions have been reached as to how this virus is transmitted. Human-to-human transmission is still a question mark, but with research ongoing. Handling diseased live poultry may be one route (it was with the previous bird flu). However, there is apparently no evidence that you could catch it from prepared food.

There is also nothing yet to indicate that food imports from China, containing cooked poultry (such as frozen entrees, pet foods), are likely to become a route for spreading the disease in other countries. Countries such as the U.S, Canada, do not import live poultry from China. Some nations that do, have stopped such imports for the time being.

But let's keep our eye on the situation. These viruses that move from birds to humans are very frightening, particularly because of their very high fatality rate.

To your good health,

TSF

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