Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New bird flu deadlier than swine flu

 Posted  By: Neill Abayon

The H7N9 bird flu virus, first identified in humans earlier this year, kills about 36% of infected people admitted to hospitals in China, according to a new report published Sunday in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Far more difficult to estimate, according to the study, is how many die in the general population after becoming infected, as the most severe cases are also more likely to lead to hospitalization.

That estimate – a 0.16% to 2.8% overall fatality rate for those showing symptoms of infection – suggests that the H7N9 virus is less deadly than the H5N1 Bird Flu first appearing in 2003, and more deadly than the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

Others infected with the virus may never show symptoms.

“There’s almost always a large portion of asymptomatic (flu virus) cases, and cases where infected people don’t seek treatment,” says Dr. Gabriel Leung, one of the study's authors and head of the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health.

Read the full article here.

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