The new bird influenza that’s killed six people in eastern China has some of the genetic hallmarks of an easily transmissible virus, according to the scientist who showed how H5N1 avian flu could become airborne.
China asked its citizens to avoid contact with live poultry as it tries to stem a H7N9 bird flu outbreak whose death toll rose to seven today, with a further 17 people infected in three eastern provinces and Shanghai.
After a yearlong halt based on safety concerns, research will resume on forms of the H5N1 bird- flu virus that scientists made easily transmissible within some mammals, and could potentially be a threat to humans.
Five genetic tweaks made a deadly strain of bird flu that can infect humans spread more easily, according to a study that the U.S. government had first sought to censor on concerns it could be used by bioterrorists.
Research on a more lethal re- engineering of the avian influenza can be made public by the scientists who created it after a review determined no immediate threat from releasing the data, a U.S. biosecurity panel said.