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Can the H7N9 bird flu virus become a worldwide pandemic?

Can the H7N9 bird flu virus become a worldwide pandemic?

Written by Admin |Updated : February 21, 2014 4:39 PM IST

According to a new research by The American Journal of Pathology, it has been found that novel avian-origin H7N9 influenza A virus has potential for both virulence and transmissibility in humans.

According to the study, the virus attached itself to the epithelium of both the upper and lower respiratory acts. Also, it was found that viruses like H7N9 attached more strongly to lower parts of the respiratory tract. (Read more: H7N9 the new deadly bird flu virus?)

The study also found that the virus was present in various parts of the human body like ciliated cells of the nasal concha, trachea and bronchi making it possible for it to be transmitted by humans,

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What is H7N9?

H7N9 bird flu is a form of avian flu that is spread from infected poultry to humans. In the name given to the disease, the H7 stands for 'haemaglutinin' or HA. Haemaglutinin is a glycoprotein found on the surface of the influenza virus. Its main function is to cause the agglutination (clumping of particles/cells) of blood. HA has 17 different parts and they are labeled as part H1 to H17. H7 is the type of haemaglutinin found in this particular virus. The 'N7' stands for Viralneuraminidase, its main function is to help viral DNA enter the patients' cells and cause infection. Like Haemaglutinin, Viral neuraminidase also has a number of parts and N9is the type of neuraminidase found in this particular virus. (Read more..)

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