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China warns of deadly new mutant bird flu strain

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China warns of deadly new mutant bird flu strain


China has issued a warning over a deadly new strain of bird flu that has claimed the life of one woman.

The new virus, called H10N8, has so far infected two people – a fatal case in a 73-year-old and another in a woman who’s critically ill in hospital.

Chen Ze, a researcher at Shanghai Institute of Biological Products said: “the virus can survive in low temperatures and therefore we need to increase our monitoring of poultry farms.”

The fact that it has jumped from birds to humans is of great concern to researchers. Investigators say the dead woman had been at a live poultry market but no virus samples were found so the source of the infection remains unknown.

Chinese scientists writing in The Lancet medical journal who conducted a genetic analysis on samples of the H10N8 virus from the woman who died said it was a new genetic reassortment of other strains of bird flu viruses, including one called H9N2
that is relatively well known in poultry in China.

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