H7N9 Avian Flu Virus Mutating In China, May Pose Threat Of Human Pandemic, Researchers Warn

Media outlets report on findings from a study published in Nature on Wednesday on the H7N9 avian flu virus found in China.

International Business Times: Bird flu: Fast mutating, deadly strain could turn into a pandemic warn researchers
“A deadly strain of bird flu that can infect humans has spread to different parts of China, is fast mutating, and could end up as a pandemic, warn researchers after conducting the largest-ever genomic survey of the virus in poultry. Now endemic in most regions of China, the H7N9 strain of avian virus is swapping genes with other types of flu viruses, giving rise to new strains…” (Jayalakshmi K., 3/12).

Los Angeles Times: H7N9 bird flu has the makings of a pandemic virus, scientists warn
“… ‘H7N9 viruses should be considered as a major candidate to emerge as a pandemic strain in humans,’ [scientists] wrote in a study published Wednesday by the journal Nature…” (Kaplan, 3/11).

Reuters: Mutating H7N9 bird flu may pose pandemic threat, scientists warn
“… ‘The expansion of genetic diversity and geographical spread indicates that, unless effective control measures are in place, H7N9 could be expected to persist and spread beyond the region,’ [scientists] said in a study published in the journal Nature…” (Kelland, 3/11).

Washington Post: Current bird flu in China could become ‘pandemic’ threat to humans, researchers say
“…While it is much too early to predict whether that might happen, one of the scientists said in an interview, there is cause for alarm because the H7N9 virus jumps to humans more quickly than its predecessors and previously has been found in mammals…” (Bernstein, 3/11).