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New information on transmission modalities for H7N9 virus

on Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:33

A team from the University of Hong Kong evaluated the infectivity of the H7N9 avian flu virus, discovering some relevant issues. First of all, it came out that, although there was no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, H7N9 may infect pigs, thus proving to be transmissible in mammals. By combining with pig viruses, new variants can be generated and this could represent a potential danger. Also, the bird flu virus that is now circulating in China can be transmitted through airborne exposure and not only by close contact with infected individuals. But in their article, recently published on Science, there is also room for some positive note: in fact, the researchers found that H7N9 virus is relatively mild, since most of the fatal cases reported had underlying medical conditions.