Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scientists to create mutant form of new bird flu virus to work out risk of it causing a deadly human pandemic

UK Daily Mail
Aug 8, 2013

Scientists are to create mutant forms of the H7N9 bird flu virus that has emerged in China so they can work out the risk of a lethal human pandemic.

Highly transmissible and deadly forms of H7N9 will be made in several high security laboratories around the world – but it is vital to prepare for the threat, the scientists say.

The new bird flu virus, which was unknown in humans until February, has already infected at least 133 people in China and Taiwan, killing 43 of them, according to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) data.

Announcing plans to start the controversial experiments, leading virologists Ron Fouchier and Yoshihiro Kawaoka said H7N9′s pandemic risk would rise ‘exponentially’ if it gained the ability to spread easily among people.

Full article here