Bird to Human Transmission Confirmed
For the first time since the new H7N9 flu outbreak started in February 2013, researchers can now can confirm that there is definite bird-to-human transmission for the H7N9 bird flu virus. According to the Lancet (The world’s leading medical journal) the human infections of the latest bird flu were the Wet Poultry Market. So far over 108 people have been infected with over 22 deaths reported in China.
Human Transmission from Wet Poultry Market
The Wet Poultry market is where people can purchase live poultry. Researchers tested over 486 patients in the hospitals from March 7 and April 8, 2013 who were hospitalized with symptoms of this new bird flu. Researchers identified 4 patients who had direct contact with poultry 3-8 days prior to the flu virus onset. They began with fevers and a rapid severe pneumonia and they did not respond to antibiotics. Two of the patients died.
Mucus were more likely to test positive for the bird flu virus than the samples from throat swabs. The viral solitary from the patients were closely similar to that from an epidemiologically linked market chicken. All viral gene segments were of avian origin. Researchers also tested poultry with swabs and found that forty percent of the pigeons as well as 20 percent of the chickens were tested positive for H7N9.
Cross species poultry-to-person transmission of this new H7N9 virus is associated with severe pneumonia and multi-organ dysfunction in humans.The researches then concluded that the virus is currently unable to transmit between humans. After carefully monitoring 303 of the patient’s household and workplace contacts, none of them had developed the A H7N9 bird flu-like symptoms.
How to Stop The Spread from Birds to Humans
Monitoring of the viral evolution and further study of the disease pathogenesis will improve disease and epidemic control as well as pandemic preparedness. One would hope that they will start to close these live poultry markets around the country to stop the spread of this deadly bird flu virus. Maybe they can come up with a vaccine for the poultry.
Have you ever visited a live poultry market?
Image courtesy of lkunl at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Lyme Disease Heads North
Lyme Disease heads north according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Researchers from Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, recently published the effect of latitude on the rate of change in incidences of Lyme Disease in the United States. Between the years 1993 and 2007 Lyme Disease cases increased 80%. Incidences of Lyme increased in the Nortern States and decreased in the Southern States. There were significant increases in 21 states.
Ticks that are causing epidemic Lyme Disease
The weather weather associated in the North is believed to play a role in this new trend for Lyme Diseaase. The researchers suggest that the decreasing Lyme disease incidence in some southern states might reflect “an expanded range of habitat for lizards, which serve as ‘dead-end’ hosts for Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease.”
Researchers also believe that climate change may also play role in this shift. The spring-autumn seasons was long and warm enough to permit the ticks to complete their life cycles and became more common at northern latitudes during the study period.
Parts of California have also been experiencing a higher number of Lyme Disease cases that were once thought to be too cold for the ticks. Could the Coyotes also be more prevalant in the Northern States? They too were shown interfere with the roles of foxes and ticks.
Make sure you are prepared this year and check out this infographic below on how you can prepare.
Post from http://www.lymedisease.org/california/california_posters.html
Are you, your family and pets prepared for Lyme Disease now?
Bird Flu Mutations Increase the threat for H7N9
According to WHO, the 11 deaths in China from the latest bird flu H7N9, have bird flu mutations that have been shown before to increase its transmission. It has been just over a week since 2 people died from the new flu and now the count is at 11. Researchers have also found that the birds and chickens don’t show any symptoms when they carry the virus.
Farmers Unaware of Virus Spreading
This makes it hard for the farmers who do not know their flock is infected with this deadly flu virus. It could lead to a silent spread of the deadly virus throughout the country and beyond. This virus also spreads quicker to infect mammals and people.
Patients Infected with Bird Flu Mutations
Two of the first three patients who died from the deadly flu virus developed encephalopathy, which is an infection of the membrane surrounding the brain. All three did have pre-existing health conditions, two with hepatitis B and one had COPD. They had severe respiratory ailments prior to developing encephalopathy rather quickly. One of the deceased had no record of being in contact with any poultry.
The CDC is seeing patients now with milder cases as survelliance has ramped up in the area in China. There are still some very ill people with this virus. As of today there were 43 cases. The CDC is nearing a new diagnostic test for the H7N9 virus so it can be detected in patients with flu symptoms. According to the Chinese officials, it could take at least 7 months to produce a vaccine for this bird flu mutations flu virus.
Could A Pandemic Be Forming?
Scientists are not ready to say yet if a pandemic is more likely to happen than they were a year ago. They are trying to get to the bottom of this new flu virus and stop it from spreading any further.
Are you getting concerned about the new bird flu mutations?
Image courtesy of suwatpo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net