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Thursday, February 6, 2014

China : New killer strain worries boffins

Via The Standard, excerpt :

" Mainland scientists have sounded the alarm after a new bird flu virus, H10N8, killed an elderly woman in December and infected another individual last month.

The fifth novel influenza strain to emerge in 17 years, the virus has a worrying genetic profile and should be closely monitored, they reported in The Lancet medical journal.

It appears to be able to infect tissue deep in the lung and may have features allowing it to spread efficiently among humans, they added.

"The pandemic potential of this novel virus should not be underestimated," said the team headed by Shu Yuelong from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing.

The warning stems from analysis of a virus sample taken from a 73-year-old woman who died in Nanchang, Jiangxi, on December 6. Her death was announced on December 18.

The Lancet study disclosed that a second case of H10N8 was recorded in Nanchang, on January 26."

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