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H7N9 virus is more transmissible and harder to detect than H5N1, say experts

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2568 (Published 22 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2568
  1. Jane Parry
  1. 1Hong Kong

In the two months since it was first detected, the H7N9 avian flu virus has resulted in almost twice as many confirmed infections in China as the H5N1 bird flu virus caused in a decade. As at 19 April the Chinese authorities had confirmed 87 cases in humans of H7N9 infection, including 17 deaths.

“The first case of H5N1 was confirmed in 2003, and there have been only 45 confirmed cases in the whole of China. H7N9 is much more transmissible to humans, and it’s much more difficult to track down,” said Ho Pak-leung, associate professor in …

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