H7N9 virus: Should SA be worried? | Virology News | Scoop.it

It has been described as one of the world’s most lethal flu viruses.

More than 20 people have already died from it in China, and more than 100 are infected.

The new strain of bird flu, the H7N9, has caused such a stir in the medical field that local practitioners are on a drive to educate South Africans on the importance of getting flu vaccines.

“This strain is actually nothing new, but the virus is changing itself… it’s becoming bigger and it is absolutely critical that everyone be vaccinated. It doesn’t appear that any South Africans have contracted or are in danger of the virus. but flu spreads quickly, and while we don’t want to scare people, there needs to be awareness,” said Professor Lynne Webber, head of the medical virology department at the University of Pretoria.