BEIJING – A new strain of bird flu has been found in a human outside of eastern China
Bird flu that killed 11 people in eastern china but overnight the virus made a big and dangerous leap infecting a 7-year-old girl hundreds of miles away from the initial hot zone. The former director of the cdc, dr. Richard besser live in hong kong this morning. Dr. Besser, tell us about this fresh case and why it worries you so much.
The seven-year-old child is in a stable condition in a Beijing hospital, the report said.
Two people who have had close contact with the child have shown no signs of being infected so far.
Right, dan, so this is a 7-year-old girl. She was hospitalized in Beijing with severe pneumonia. Her parents bothked in the live chicken business.
But what concerns moo he is what you showed on that map, the distance between shanghai and beijing. It was able to travel that distance without leaving a trail of dead birds. Most kill birds as well.
China will need to do a lot of screening of healthy birds if they learn the extent of which this virus is spreading around the country. You know, when you were at the cdc, you tracked other outbreaks in particular the swine flu. How worried are you about this one?
Oh, you know, whenever there's an outbreak of a new infectious agent like this you often -- you don't know whether it's going to peter out or grow into something big but you often only get one chance to try to knock it down. There's some very worrisome things about this virus causes disease and we don't have immunity to it. It can easily spread person to person.
What I hear in talking to viralologists, there are changes in it which makes them think it's on its way to do it. You want to be aggressive and seeing a lot of aggressive action in the united states to making a vaccine and diagnostic kit. I want to see what they're doing in china to be equally aggressive.
That's not what you want to hear, transferring from person to person. Dr. Besser live in hong kong on the front lines of this outbreak.
The new virus has caused severe illness in most of the people affected, leading to fears that if it becomes easily transmissible, it could cause a deadly influenza pandemic, though there has been no indication of that happening.
In a bid to calm public jitters over the virus, Chinese authorities have detained a dozen people for spreading rumours about the spread of bird flu.
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