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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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H7N9 Bird Flu Cases In China Rise By Four To 91; Half Have Had No Contact With Poultry

H7N9 Bird Flu Cases In China Rise By Four To 91; Half Have Had No Contact With Poultry | Virology News | Scoop.it
The number of confirmed H7N9 bird flu cases in China increased by four to 91 on Friday.  Jiangsu province reported one new case, and Zhejiang province reported three, the state-run Shanghai Daily reported today.  The number of dead was unchanged at...
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Multi-virus detector chip created by Singapore team

Multi-virus detector chip created by Singapore team | Virology News | Scoop.it
In a world first, a Singapore scientist and his team have developed a chip which can detect up to 70,000 different viruses and bacteria in one test.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Virus on a chip: one better than gannet on a stick....

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What Do We Know About the New Bird Flu?

What Do We Know About the New Bird Flu? | Virology News | Scoop.it

Water birds, to an influenza researcher, are more than majestic swans and charming mallards.  They are instead stealthy vectors of novel influenza viruses, some of nature’s bioterrorist agents, chauffeuring dangerous microbes from place to place without showing symptoms of infection themselves. Wild waterfowl are reservoirs for every imaginable combination of influenza viruses, though the vast majority of those viral cocktails don’t seem to infect humans.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

ALL birds are winged rats, then??  I love the actual title of the piece: "Nature’s Bioterrorist Agents".  Not alarming in any way, oh, no....

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Who can catch which flu?

Who can catch which flu? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Imgur is used to share photos with social networks and online communities, and has the funniest pictures from all over the Internet.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Excellent graphic!

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China culls birds as bird flu deaths mount | Reuters

China culls birds as bird flu deaths mount | Reuters | Virology News | Scoop.it
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese authorities slaughtered over 20,000 birds on Friday at a poultry market in the financial hub Shanghai as the death toll from a new strain of bird flu mounted to six,...
Ed Rybicki's insight:

"The gene sequences confirm that this is an avian virus, and that it is a low pathogenic form (meaning it is likely to cause mild disease in birds)," said Wendy Barclay, a flu virologist at Britain's Imperial College London.

"But what the sequences also reveal is that there are some mammalian adapting mutations in some of the genes."

 

Sinister...but interesting that a LPAI should be so lethal in humans??

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Two men die of new "bird flu" in China

Two men die of new "bird flu" in China | Virology News | Scoop.it
Two men, aged 27 and 87, have died in the Chinese city of Shanghai after catching a strain of bird flu not previously known in humans, officials say.

 

The men, aged 27 and 87, both fell ill with the H7N9 strain in February and died some weeks later in March, Xinhua news agency reported.

 

A woman of 35 who caught the virus elsewhere is said to be critically ill.

 

It is unclear how the strain spread, but the three did not infect each other or any close contacts, officials say.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

And so it goes on: contact with birds leading to human infections with new variants / types of influenza A viruses, and a N variant never seen in humans before...universal vaccine time!!

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Influenza animation - flu virus mechanism

Animation of the mechanism of an influenza virus and how Crucell's antibodies target the HA1 proteins on the virus and prevent further spread of influenza.

 

Might be an advert, but it's one of the nicest animations of flu virus entry and neutralisation that I've ever seen.  In fact, it's the ONLY one!

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An open letter to my dad on the occasion of his recent anti-vax Facebook postings

An open letter to my dad on the occasion of his recent anti-vax Facebook postings | Virology News | Scoop.it
Dear Pa, I know you care deeply about many issues, especially social justice.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Thanks Chris Upton for originally posting this!  Great post; very thoughtful.  JUST the thing to give to denialist family members....

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Mississauga Article: Making vaccine for new bird flu virus could be a challenge

Mississauga Article: Making vaccine for new bird flu virus could be a challenge | Virology News | Scoop.it
TORONTO — Making a vaccine to protect against the new bird flu virus that has emerged in eastern China could prove to be problematic, influenza experts acknowledged yesterday.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

"...clinical trials of vaccines made to protect against other viruses in the H7 family have shown the vaccines don't induce much of an immune response, even when people are given what would be considered very large doses."


This is a little worrying - and possibly a spur to making universal vaccines!

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GlaxoSmithKline’s quadrivalent influenza vaccine approved in UK and Germany

GlaxoSmithKline’s quadrivalent influenza vaccine approved in UK and Germany | Virology News | Scoop.it

GlaxoSmithKline’s quadrivalent influenza vaccine has been granted marketing authorisation in Germany and the UK. The four-strain vaccine is the first  to be approved in a European country for active immunisation of adults and children from three years of age for the prevention of influenza disease caused by the two influenza A and two influenza B virus subtypes contained within the vaccine.

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A Brief History of Influenza

A Brief History of Influenza | Virology News | Scoop.it
I am TRYING to write an eBook on influenza, which stubbornly refuses to be finished - as part of a sabbatical project, which finished in December 2010.  So, like my History of Virology, I am triall...
Ed Rybicki's insight:

I will reprise this post, given a considerable recent spike in interest in it as the new H7N9 Shanghai bird flu starts.  Hopefully to fizzle out, but you never know....

 

Incidentally, I have an almost-finished iBook (for iPad) on influenza: the first five respondents to this post can trial it for free!

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Chris Upton + helpers's comment, April 8, 2013 2:39 PM
cool... and I have iPad
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China closes markets, culls birds to curb H7N9 virus

China closes markets, culls birds to curb H7N9 virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
SHANGHAI - Shanghai on Friday ordered the closure of all live poultry markets in the city and culled more than 20,000 birds to curb the spread of the H7N9 flu virus which has killed six people in China.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

And so it begins...hopefully NOT!

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The CDC Tells More of the Truth than Usual about Flu Vaccine Effectiveness

When U.S. public health agencies acknowledge the limitations of the influenza vaccine – which they do much less often than they should – they tend to use a phrase like “less than perfect.” “Less than adequate” would capture the situation better.

 

Ed Rybicki's insight:

...but it's still an excellent idea to get vaccinated.  ESPECIALLY in a bad flu season.

 

Thanks Chris Upton!

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