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New Bird Flu Moved From Chickens To Humans

5:55 PM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Key findings on how the deadly new strain of bird flu in China is infecting humans.

Over 20 people have died and more than 100 have been infected.  The numbers are expected to change daily.

Dr. Sujata Ambardar, M.D., Chief of Infectious Diseases at Inova Fairfax Hospital stays the news strain called H7N9 is on the radar of doctors and scientists everywhere.

Dr. Ambardar says, "When you have a new virus, you worry about the potential for it changing and being very severe because people don't have any immunity to this."

The World Health Organization says human-to-human transmission doesn't seem to be happening, however most of the people infected in China didn't work directly with poultry.

Reports published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet medical journal say many victims were shopping at live animal markets, and scientists confirm a specific strain of the virus jumped from chickens to people.

Dr. Ambardar says, "China, although it is thousands of miles away is only less then 10 hours on a flight from Beijing."

"We do travel medicine in our office, and I have travelers, business people, government officials who travel to China and some of them are asking about the risk because the CDC is actually mentioning this in their profile."

In certain cases, physicians are recommending travelers taking Tamiflu and Tamivir for prevention and treatment.