By Samantha Olang
New cases of the Bird Flu in China have been brought to the government’s awareness. There are currently 21 cases of the Bird Flu, according to the World Health Organization. Six out of the 21 of those who were infected have died. There have been no reports on new deaths since Friday.
The reports have been more likely new patients in their late 50s. One of these patients include a 59 year old Shanghai man, in critical condition, a 55 year old Anhui man who is known to be in somewhat of a stable condition, and a 67 year old Shanghai man, with a mild case. “They’ve already seen some changes that allow it to survive in people,” announces ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser, “The big concern is could this become the next pandemic strain?” Besser announces to “Good Morning America”.
There has been more than 530 close contacts of the H7N9 patients that have been monitored, according to the WHO. Now that this case has been brought to the attention of people around the world, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is already working on a vaccine. They’re using the virus’s genetic code rather than the virus itself, announces Nancy Cox. This will be the first time for the agency, the CDC’s influenza division announced to reporters.
The H7N9 is known to be more easily transmittable from birds to humans than the original bird flu strain, H1N1. Cox, the head of the CDC’s influenza division expects to see limited human-to-human transmission. Health workers are preparing by taking swab samples from ducks at Meijiang poultry wholesale market, starting on April 8th, 2013 in Changde, China. Although, H7N9 is not as deadly to birds as it is to humans, it will be harder to track because there won’t be large bird kill-offs, announces Cox.
Last Friday, a Shanghai market where the virus was detected in pigeons, a halt on live bird sale and killed all poultry. Concluding with a count of more than 20,500 chickens, ducks, geese and pigeons were killed, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency. “The key to controlling the number of H7N9 patients depends on whether the virus can spread among human beings,” announces Wu Fan, director of the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A news conference was held last Friday announcing, “So far we haven’t found any cases that show this kind of virus can spread from people to people.”