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?
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New H7N9 Bird Flu
A new H7N9 bird flu has killed 2 people in China and scientists are unsure how they became infected with this new strain of the avian flu. There was no evidence of human to human transmission of this new strain that infected these 2 people. One person was age 87 and the other just 27 years old.
A third person, age 35, was also infected and remains in critical condition. Others close to these 3 people infected were also tested and not found to be carrying the strain of the new H7N9 bird flu in them.
This strain is different than the H5N1 bird flu that was found last year in many birds. It is also different from the Sars virus that was shown to spread from person to person.
There are no known vaccines against this newest strain of the bird flu and little is known about this new virus. The 2 people who died from it are the first humans ever known to contract this H7N9 strain of the bird flu.
Bird flu can be spread from wild birds to farm raised birds and infect thousands of them quickly. Bird droppings and salvia can spread the virus easily. It can infect farm equipment, cars, etc. What is different about bird flu from the regular flu is that we do not have immunities build up in us to protect us from it. That is what causes people to get very sick from bird flu vs. for example, a regular flu in a healthy person.
H7N9 Bird Flu Symptoms Include:
- Severe Pneumonia.
- Difficulty Breathing.
The World Health Organization believes the risk to public health remains low as there is no evidence of human to human transmission of this new flu virus. Officials in China are boosting up their monitoring efforts at local hospitals.
Do you think this new strain of the bird flu may have mutated from other forms of the bird flu?
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Finding Parasites via an iPhone
Imagine if your doctor could find if you have intenstinal parasites via an iPhone? They now can! In Tanzania where many children are infected with these parasites this new low cost device for iPhones could save a lot of lives.
The device, for finding parasites via an iPhone, developed by scientists is an inexpensive microscope using a glass lens costing $8 USD, a strip of double-sided tape, and a cheap flashlight. It altered an iPhone into a medical device that can detect intestinal worm infections in children. Many young children affected by these worms, have a lack of physical and mental development by causing chronic anemia and malnutrition. If caught quickly these children can thrive again as the impacts are greatly reduced. These parasites affect over 2 billion people worldwide.
Scientists tested the stool samples of over 100 children using this new device. They found it was good at finding medium to heavy parasite infections. It was not good at finding the beginnings of these infections as the eggs were very small to detect. The hookworms were the hardest to detect and only 14% of them were found via the iPhone device. The device was able to detect 81% of the giant roundworms.
The device for finding these instintnal parasites via an iPhone would be much cheaper than the medications used to treat the infections. This could save a lot of healthcare costs around the world. Paromomycin Oral is the most common of the drugs used to treat patients. It is a type of antiobotic. Many doctors prescribe it along with a change in diet. Other drugs may include Albendazole, praziquantel to name a few. This new device developed by scientists would be less costly and may speed the recovery of those affected by intestinal parasites.
We wondered if this new device could detect these parasites in your pets too. And will it be available on Droids in the near future?
Would you like to catch parasites via an iPhone today?
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