In a press release, The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment says the virus is circulating in the world, but adds that it has “a low mortality rate.”
According to The Guardian, the new respiratory strain H7N9 appeared last year and is among the virus variants that have cropped up in Asia, including in China. According to a Lancet study, people with H7N9 had a 25 percent higher chance of dying than those who are not infected, but data on the effectiveness of the strategy to try to contain the virus were deemed unreliable. The new strain is considered a form of “avian flu,” but is genetically distinct from that for human beings, The Guardian says. The virus that could spread from birds to humans in early June has yet to be transmitted to humans in the Netherlands.
Between 2012 and 2014, the H7N9 virus caused more than 50 deaths in humans, with its origins traced to chickens from a strain that was circulating in Hong Kong. Among those who died were two Singaporeans, a Russian and a French national. The World Health Organization reported in July that the outbreak was over in China but had found a new strain of bird flu in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The disease is one among several which can be contracted from sick birds, which can also transmit to humans.
The CDC encourages people who come into contact with sick animals to avoid touching their nose and mouth, to wash their hands well before and after cleaning or picking up animals. If you do come into contact with animals, remove gloves and wash them separately before they can contact animals. The CDC also recommends maintaining contact with people that are not sick for 72 hours after coming into contact with animals that are not sick.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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