Flu

2:31pm

Mon June 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

Triple Threat: Middle East Respiratory Virus And 2 Bird Flus

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

Men outside a hospital in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, wear surgical masks as a precaution against infection with a coronavirus.
Stringer Reuters /Landov

The World Health Organization is warning health care workers everywhere to suspect a disease called Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, whenever they see a case of unexplained pneumonia.

Monday's warning comes at the end of a six-day WHO investigation in Saudi Arabia, where 40 of the 55 cases of the respiratory disease have occurred. Sixty percent of those people with known infections died.

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10:05am

Thu June 6, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Nature Builds A Pandemic Flu Virus

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:26 am

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong last April. After closing live poultry shops in many cities around China, the rate of new H7N9 infections sharply declined.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Here's a sobering thought: Wild birds — including city pigeons and ubiquitous Canada geese — carry 170 different types of bird flu. You know, all those viruses with the Hs and Ns in their names, like H1N1 and H5N1.

Only a dozen of these viruses have infected humans so far, but many of those have been deadly, and three of them have caused global flu pandemics.

Does every bird flu that leaps into people have the potential to turn into the next "big one" that spreads rapidly around the world?

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6:00am

Thu May 30, 2013

2:36pm

Tue May 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

Bird Flu Shrugs Off Tamiflu In 'Concerning' Development

The H7N9 virus, as seen with an electron microscope.
CDC

Chinese doctors report they've seen signs that the bird flu virus infecting humans is able to overcome one of the few drugs used to fight it.

In a report published online Tuesday by The Lancet, doctors report on 14 patients infected with the H7N9 virus and admitted to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center in April. All the people came down with pneumonia, and two died.

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1:52pm

Thu May 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Researchers Find Bird Flu Is Contagious Among Ferrets

Of ferrets, men and bird flu.
iStockphoto.com

Scientists have completed the first assessments of how readily the H7N9 flu virus in China can pass among ferrets and pigs. The mammals provide the best inkling of how dangerous these bugs may become for humans.

The news is both bad and good. They've found the new bird virus is easily passed between ferrets sharing the same cage.

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