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Thursday, April 04, 2013

New Strain of Bird flu in Danger of Spreading

Fifth death among 14 confirmed cases in China

By Associated Press, 

Updated: Thursday, April 4, 11:29 AM

BEIJING — A middle-aged man who transported poultry for a living and another unidentified person have died from a new strain of bird flu, bringing the death toll to five among 14 confirmed cases in China, the government and state media reported Thursday.
The 48-year-old man, who died in Shanghai, is one of several among the infected believed to have had direct contact with fowl. Until recently, the virus, called H7N9, was not known to infect humans.

The New Strain of Bird flu will become endemic unless action taken quickly: expert

Note: Which Strain of Bird Flu did the Dutch Researchers Mutate?, Did they actually use H5N1 or a lesser potent strain?

Bloomberg News

New Bird Flu Strain Spreads in China as Fourth Dies

The new strain of bird flu that’s emerged in eastern China killed a fourth person, as the World Health Organization said drugs made by Roche Holding AG (ROG) and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) are effective against the deadly virus.
A poultry worker infected with the H7N9 strain of avian influenza died in Shanghai, and three more cases are suspected in the city, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported today. The virus has infected at least 11 people, killing four of them since China’s health ministry reported the first cases last month, the wire service said.

Drug Demand

The new virus is sensitive to Roche’s Tamiflu and Glaxo’s Relenza treatments, Hartl said.
“There was some initial doubt but those doubts seem to have been put aside after a lot of work done in our collaborating center in Beijing,” he said.
Roche will provide an update on demand for Tamiflu when it reports quarterly sales, Daniel Grotzky, a spokesman for the Basel, Switzerland-based company, said in an e-mail. David Daley, a spokesman for London-based Glaxo, declined to comment on demand for Relenza.
Shanghai issued a level-3 flu alert on April 2, the second- lowest of four levels, following the deaths of the two men, ages 87 and 27, in China’s financial hub last month.
Investigations still haven’t uncovered how the two men contracted the virus, and tests have yet to prove whether it can be transmitted among humans, Wu Fan, head of the city’s disease control center, said at a briefing that day.
Contributing sources:

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