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….the patient was a 39-year-old man living in Shenzhen. He developed symptoms on December 21 and was admitted to a hospital on December 25 because of severe pneumonia. He is now in critical condition.
The man had no travel history or contact with poultry before the onset of symptoms.
Preliminary laboratory tests on the patient's specimen by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of Guangdong Province yielded positive result for H5N1.
China suspects bus driver infected with bird flu
Local health authorities say a bus driver has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong where two birds were confirmed to have the same virus last week.
The 39-year-old man surnamed Chen was hospitalized with a fever on Dec. 21 and tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 on Friday, said a statement on the websites of the Shenzhen city and Guangdong provincial health authorities.
Chinese health authorities vowed to stay in "close contact and work together" with Hong Kong and "jointly step up measures in controlling the epidemic", the report said.
....because epidemiological survey showed that patients with no history of travel within one month, and no history of contact with poultry, the authorities therefore highly concerned about the incident
Wow - that was fast...
A couple days ago it was "We just figured out how to engineer a dangerous virus to make it even more dangerous...don't sweat it though it's for research
And now what - Oops it got out?
I'm sure this will be declared the "natural" mutation they'd been afraid would happen
Human flu, yeah... but a species leap? .... not so usual.
Contrary to "lingering" zoonoses, public awareness of "emerging" zoonoses is very high. The WHO/FAO/OIE joint consultation on emerging zoonotic diseases held in Geneva, 3-5 May 2004, defined an emerging zoonosis as "a zoonosis that is newly recognized or newly evolved, or that has occurred previously but shows an increase in incidence or expansion in geographical, host or vector range". Emerging zoonotic diseases have potentially serious human health and economic impacts and their current upwards trends are likely to continue.
Examples are avian influenza, Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis (BSE) and the Nipah virus. Some of the "lingering" zoonoses are re-emerging in some regions, although they seem to attract less public awareness. Brucellosis, dog rabies and parasitic diseases such as cysticercosis/taeniasis and echinococcosis/hydatidosis for example.
Many factors lead to the emergence of zoonotic diseases. Environmental changes, human and animal demography, pathogen changes and changes in farming practice are a few of them. Social and cultural factors such as food habits and religious beliefs play a role too.
Killer-Flu Debate: Should Mutant H5N1 Have Been Created?
The altered viruses developed by Fouchier's and Kawaoka's research might give researchers a better idea of how to prepare, Gambotto said.
Vaccine developers could test the existing vaccines against the lab strains to get at least some idea of how effective they might be against the mutant virus. If they don't prevent infection, then developers know they'll need something else in order to have a running start, he said.
"By the time we start seeing the first people dying, isolate a virus, generate a vaccine, it is probably one year or eight months if everything goes smoothly," he said. "But that eight months can be deadly for humanity."
The demonstration that bird flu can be coaxed into spreading easily among mammals is a wake-up call to the world that has been tuning out a potential pandemic, Robert Webster, a virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, told LiveScience.
"The virus has been around for 15 years since it appeared in Hong Kong and it first got a lot of attention, then less, and less. Even though it has [caused] 600 cases in humans and killed about 60 percent of people, people were starting to say this is an aberration, so let's move on to worry about bigger problems," Webster said. "These two papers make it clear this can happen."
M'be the higher phyla will evolve just as rapidly.