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May 23, 2013

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Scientists make new H7N9 claim

SCIENTISTS at Fudan University claimed yesterday that the H7N9 bird flu virus originated from poultry or wild bird in eastern China instead of the previous theory that the virus's two major proteins - HA and NA - come from fowl in China and South Korea respectively.

The scientists said their findings were based on generic research and analysis through advanced bioinformatics and it can be important to prevent bird flu in the future.

The new results were published in the latest edition of the US-based Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Since February 19, the flu-like symptoms first started to appear in eastern China and the National Health and Family Planning Commission announced the discovery of the new H7N9 virus on March 31.

Previously, scientists - both at home and abroad - believed that the virus's HA of the H7 subtype came from duck in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and NA of the N9 subtype was from fowl in South Korea.

But Fudan researchers said from gene sequencing they discovered that NA of the N9 subtype had its origins in Baikal Teal in Hongze Lake in Jiangsu Province.

Both Zhejiang and Jiangsu are in eastern China where the cases of H7N9 virus in humans are higher.

So far, China has reported 130 human H7N9 cases across the country with 36 deaths.


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