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New deadly bird flu virus reported in China

Dr. Yuelong Shu from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, China and Dr. Mingbin Liu from Nanchang City Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first human death from a new bird flu virus in the Feb. 4, 2014, edition of the journal Lancet.

Transmission electron micrograph of influenza A virus.
Transmission electron micrograph of influenza A virus.
CDC/ Dr. Erskine Palmer This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions.

The new strain of bird flu virus has been designated as H10N8 and was found to be responsible for the death of a woman from Nanchang City in China on Nov. 30, 2013, due to multiple organ failure despite the use of antibiotic and antiviral treatment. The woman was found to have contracted the new strain of flu at a live poultry market but no evidence of the new strain of flu could be found in animals or fixtures in the market. The woman died in 13 days after being infected with the new strain of flu.

A second case of H10N8 was identified in Jiangxi Province, China on Jan. 26, 2014. The H10N8 virus had been found in water in 2007 and in a poultry market in 2012.

The researchers affirm that the new flu is avian in origin. The new strain of flu is thought to have arisen as a molecular rearrangement of the H9N2 flu virus in poultry. The scientists expect an increased virulence and a greater potential for human infection from the H10N8 virus due to the genetic rearrangement.