Reading Time: < 1 minute

Coined ‘Disease
X’, a new strain of bird flu – H7N9 – has sparked fears of a major outbreak among
scientists, having already infected more than 1600 people.

Virus

Symptoms of
infection include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, pneumonia, acute
respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and organ failure.

The virus
has already killed 623 people within China.

Spread

At this
time, the H7N9 can’t be spread between humans – and can only be contracted from
contact with birds.

However, experts
suspect as few as three mutations could result in a human-to-human contagion –
and potentially a worldwide pandemic.

‘Global
outbreak’

The US
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
disease.”

England’s Deputy
Chief Medical Officer Professor Johnathan Van-Tam also expressed fears that H7N9 ‘could be the cause of the next pandemic’.

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious...