Avian Influenza H7N9: A Threat to Humans?

 Avian Influenza (H7N9) is a new flu virus that is making headlines in China. Although most cases in humans have been detected in people who have had contact with chickens, there have been recent updates that have led scientists to believe an H7N9 outbreak may be imminent in the human population.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been confirmed cases of poultry passing the virus between each other. Because this indicates mammal to mammal transmission, there is a possibility transmission of the H7N9 Avian flu could occur among humans.

Although there is no present sustained transmission within an existing human population, there is the potential. Avian flu is not generally widespread among humans, but because influenza viruses easily mutate, the CDC and health organizations around the world are monitoring this situation closely.

The CDC is providing information on their website to citizens traveling to China, and warn that the situation is continually evolving.

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