US health authorities in bird flu vaccine effort

April 5, 2013
Two women take photos of a cockerel in Beijing on April 4,2013. US health authorities are liaising with domestic and international partners to develop a vaccine for the H7N9 bird flu virus that has killed five people in China.

US health authorities are liaising with domestic and international partners to develop a vaccine for the H7N9 bird flu virus that has killed five people in China.

With the number of confirmed infection cases climbing to 14, authorities in Shanghai have begun the of poultry at a market after the virus was detected there in samples of pigeon.

Noting an ongoing probe by Beijing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a US federal agency, said it was following the situation closely.

Its efforts will include "gathering more information to make a knowledgeable assessment, and developing a candidate vaccine virus."

The CDC is also "reviewing posted genetic sequencing of the H7N9 viruses and assessing possible implications in terms of the viruses' transmissibility and severity and whether existing influenza diagnostic tests need to be enhanced or new ones developed."

The this week played down fears over the strain, saying there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission, but that it was crucial to find out how the virus infects humans.

Like the H5N1 virus which typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, experts fear such viruses could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans with the potential to trigger a pandemic.

The first two deaths from the virus, which had never before been seen in humans, occurred in February but were not reported by authorities until late March. Officials said the delay in announcing the results was because it took time to determine the cause of the illnesses.

Explore further: Sixth H7N9 bird flu death as China culls poultry

Related Stories

Sixth H7N9 bird flu death as China culls poultry

April 5, 2013

A sixth person has died of H7N9 bird flu in China, state media said Friday, after authorities slaughtered poultry in a mass cull at a Shanghai market where the virus has been detected.

China begins poultry cull after bird flu found

April 4, 2013

Authorities in Shanghai began the mass slaughter of poultry at a market after the H7N9 bird flu virus, which has killed five people in China, was detected there, state media said Friday.

China reports fifth H7N9 bird flu death (Update 2)

April 4, 2013

A new strain of bird flu has claimed two more lives in China's business capital of Shanghai, taking the total number of human deaths attributed to the H7N9 virus to five, state media said Thursday.

Two in China first known deaths from H7N9 bird flu

March 31, 2013

Two Shanghai men have died from a lesser-known type of bird flu in the first known human deaths from the strain, and Chinese authorities said Sunday that it wasn't clear how they were infected, but that there was no evidence ...

WHO plays down China bird flu fears

April 2, 2013

The World Health Organisation on Tuesday played down fears over a strain of bird flu which has killed two people in China, but said it was crucial to find out how the virus infected humans.

Bird flu 101: How bad is the new H7N9 strain?

April 4, 2013

A bird flu virus never before found in humans has grabbed world attention this week after it infected and killed people in China. Scientists have been scrambling to understand how it happened and, more importantly, whether ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.