‘Largest pandemic in 100 years’ threatens China as bird flu spreads

RT – February 18, 2017

China could be facing the worst bout of bird flu to hit the country in a century, with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) accounting for the deaths of 79 people in January from the 192 human cases reported so far.

The outbreak has been described as the “worst season since the virus first appeared in the country in 2013,” by members of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Guan Yi, an expert in emerging viral diseases at the University of Hong Kong in China, said the surge in human cases is a cause for grave concern. “We are facing the largest pandemic threat in the last 100 years,” he told Science.

Between December 20, 2016 and January 16, 2017, a total of 918 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection

Until it was detected in China in March 2013, the virus hadn’t been seen in people or animals, apart from birds. Although it “does not appear to transmit easily from person to person,” the disease is raising concern because “most patients have become severely ill,” the WHO says.