Bird flu sub-types affecting humans are named with science in mind, factually and without emotion. As innocuous as the four-character combinations of the letters H, N and numbers sound, though, there is every reason to be edgy about them. With H7N9 causing deaths around China, H9N2 re-emerging after a four-year hiatus and H5N1 a constant threat, a new killer variant, H10N8, has surfaced on the mainland.
H7N9 refers to a subgroup of H7 influenza viruses that normally circulates among birds. Human infections of H7N9 have been reported in parts of China, with some people dying of severe pneumonia.
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