• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 1:43am
H7N9 avian flu
NewsChina
HEALTH

Doctors warn of pandemic potential of the new H10N8 bird flu virus

Cases of new bird flu strain enough to cause 'alarm' about its possibility for mutation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 February, 2014, 9:23am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 5:13pm
 

Poll

  • Yes: 16%
  • No: 84%
6 Feb 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 277

A novel bird flu virus that has killed one mainlander and left another critically ill has the potential to spread efficiently among humans, doctors warn.

They say the fact that the H10N8 bug jumped to humans for the first time in December is an important warning of a possible pandemic.

"The pandemic potential of this novel virus should not be underestimated," the research team headed by virologist Shu Yuelong from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing says in a paper in The Lancet medical journal, published yesterday.

"[The latest case] reveals that the H10N8 virus has continued to circulate and may cause more human infections in the future."

An expert in infectious diseases in Hong Kong, meanwhile, said tests for the H10 virus should be stepped up among flu patients and poultry.

A 55-year-old woman critically ill in hospital in Nanchang, Jiangxi, was confirmed to have the virus on January 26. This followed the death of a 73-year-old woman there on December 6.

The fifth novel influenza strain to emerge in 17 years, the virus has a worrying genetic profile and should be closely monitored, the researchers wrote. It appears to be able to infect tissue deep in the lung, they said.

The warning stems from analysis of a virus sample taken from the woman who died. Her death from H10N8 was announced on December 18.

The virus strain had previously been found only twice on the mainland - in a sample from a lake in Hunan in 2007, and in live poultry in Guangdong in 2012. The Lancet paper said the strain infecting the two humans was different from those two samples.

University of Hong Kong microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yuen said it was important to monitor the activity of H10N8 in both poultry and humans as it was difficult to predict how an influenza virus would evolve.

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
9

This article is now closed to comments

toysoldier2006
Why are all these bird flu viruses coming from China?
lucifer
Because in China so many people live in close proximity of animals and have close contact with animals that it's easier for the virus to jump species.
elizabeth.reid.1238
Good answer lucifer. There is also a problem of the number of animals being kept in crowded conditions, increasing the stress of these animals. Asian countries in general don't have a great reputation for animal welfare and I can't help feeling that their attitude on this is coming back to bite them on the bum.
newgalileo
richard.barnes.528 has lttle interesting to add here and is besides the point. Your Bible (thousands of years?) also predicted the extinction of the dinosaurs? Oh boy.
richard.barnes.528
The wars and many other problems that are raging all around the world today is because these are the end times the Bible has been warning us about for thousands of years. This is the first time frame in history where we have so many end times prophecies occurring IN THE SAME TIME FRAME, just as Jesus said they would. Earthquakes in diverse places, wars and rumors of wars, starvation, illnesses, diseases, and people traveling to and fro and knowledge increased. In recent decades man has started traveling in mass by means of flight. Our homes have pluming and heating, electric lights, cloths washers, dish washers, TV's and computers, and the BIG one,,, Israel is back as a nation.The rapture of the Church is on the verge of taking place. When that happens there will be no real Christians in the world for a brief time and the antichrist will quickly take control of a new one world government. I wrote a book in 2012 that discusses some of the prophecies written about in the Bible. It’s a short read of 6 or 7 pages and it’s totally free. I hope you will have a look: ****www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next
jil7vyz9@yahoo.com
I was thinking going to HK. But now I have doubts. Although I really want to. Somebody please advise me on it. Is it dangerous to go there in Spring?
rudy.haugeneder
Soon. Not yet, but soon. Pandemics cannot be forever avoided, especially when a new bug finally (and it will) makes the leap to easy human-to-human or virtual smile-to-smile transfer as seven-plus billion of us grin in silly ignorance. Soon. Hopefully I will be immune but it is unlikely.
davidhill
What people do not know and they should for their own good and the future of their young their and loved ones; for they will probably be affected by this human-to-human killer in future years - ****worldinnovationfoundation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/possibly-most-important-keynote-speech.html
Dr David Hill
World Innovation Foundation
arrkb
Uh, it isn't like the industrial meat production in the west is all that humane or hygienic. The conditions in which animals are kept are cruel, unnatural and filthy. Add the over use of antibiotics and you have the conditions for disaster.

Login

SCMP.com Account

or