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X’, a new strain of bird flu – H7N9 – has sparked fears of a major outbreak among
scientists, having already infected more than 1600 people.
infection include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, pneumonia, acute
respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and organ failure.
has already killed 623 people within China.
time, the H7N9 can’t be spread between humans – and can only be contracted from
contact with birds.
suspect as few as three mutations could result in a human-to-human contagion –
and potentially a worldwide pandemic.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said: “Influenza viruses
constantly change and it is possible that this virus could gain the ability to
spread easily and sustainably among people, triggering a global outbreak of
Chief Medical Officer Professor Johnathan Van-Tam also expressed fears that H7N9 ‘could be the cause of the next pandemic’.