May 10 2013
This commentary appeared on the Asia Healthcare Blog on May 10, 2013.
Chinese health officials announced recently that a new bird flu virus is bringing sickness and death to dozens of seemingly random victims in the eastern part of the country. Scientists have classified this new flu as subtype H7N9.
Like its cousin H5N1, this latest version of the avian flu virus successfully made the jump from birds to people. And like its predecessor it is especially deadly, according to the leader of an international investigation team from the World Health Organization (WHO). Authorities aren't certain how all its victims have been infected, but they have found no evidence, for now at least, that ongoing spread from person to person is occurring.