Source and full article We have seen the MERS CoV debate on Twitter engage bloggers and journalists along with public health organisations, epidemiologists and doctors alike, often resulting in faster reporting and better understanding of the situation. This debate relates to a new phenomenon called ‘crowd epidemic intelligence’ [12] and is particularly important given the many unknowns about the MERS epidemic.

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Source and full article Full-genome analysis was conducted on the first isolate of a highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus from a human in North America. The virus has a hemagglutinin gene of clade 2.3.2.1c and is a reassortant with an H9N2 subtype lineage polymerase basic 2 gene. No mutations conferring resistance to adamantanes or neuraminidase inhibitors were found.

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Source and full article To balance sensitivity and specificity, we found serum titers of ≥20 (MN) or 160 (HI) samples were most effective in determining seropositive to H7N9 virus. Single serum with HI titers of 20-80 or MN titer of 10 could be validated by each other or WB assay. Unlike serum collected from adult or elderly populations, the antibody response in children with mild disease was low or undetectable. These combinations of assays will be useful in case diagnosis and serologic investigation of human cases.

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Source and full article Among the environmental samples from wild birds and domestic ducks, AIV prevalence was 5.19 and 5.32%, respectively. We isolated 39 and 5 AIVs from the fecal samples of wild birds and domestic ducks, respectively. Our analysis indicated 12 subtypes of AIV were present, suggesting that wild birds in the Eastern Dongting Lake area carried a diverse array of AIVs with low pathogenicity. We were unable to detect any antibodies against AIV H5N1 in humans, suggesting that human infection with H5N1 was rare in this region.

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Source and full article The case is a female, 75 years old, [Xu], Huichang County. Confirmed on April 24 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Jiangxi Ganzhou.

Epidemiological investigations showed that the patient had history of exposure to poultry.

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Source and full article The disease known as bird flu has been found on a quail farm in California, prompting countries including Russia to ban poultry shipments from the state.

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Source and full article The case is a male, 51 years old, [Ryu]. Confirmed on April 23, currently in a Zhenjiang City hospital in critical condition.

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Source and full article China has reported three new H7N9 influenza cases over the past 4 days from Fujian, Jiangsu, and Hunan provinces, continuing a slow trickle of infections, as Chinese researchers teased out connections between positive market findings and human …

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Source and full article These findings indicated that emergence and spread of these reassortant swine influenza viruses is a potential public health risk.

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Source and full article Six persons in Taiwan who had contact with poultry infected with influenza A(H5N2) showed seroconversion for the virus by hemagglutinin inhibition or microneutralization testing

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Ultrastructural characterization of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus infecting humans in China.

April 24, 2014

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Novel Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in Tree Sparrow, Shanghai, China, 2013.

April 24, 2014

Source and full article In spring 2013, influenza A(H7N9) virus was isolated from an apparently healthy tree sparrow in Chongming Dongping National Forest Park, Shanghai City, China. The entire gene constellation of the virus is similar to that of isolates from humans, highlighting the need to monitor influenza A(H7N9) viruses in different species.

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PCR for Detection of Oseltamivir Resistance Mutation in Influenza A(H7N9) Virus.

April 24, 2014

Source and full article We developed a real-time reverse transcription PCR and single nucleotide polymorphism probes to differentiate this mutant strain in mixed virus populations in human specimens.

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Responses to Threat of Influenza A(H7N9) and Support for Live Poultry Markets, Hong Kong, 2013.

April 24, 2014

Source and full article Abstract We conducted a population survey in Hong Kong to gauge psychological and behavioral responses to the threat of influenza A(H7N9) and support for closure of live poultry markets. We found low anxiety and low levels of exposure to live poultry but mixed support for permanent closure of the markets.

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Understanding the current status of avian influenza 2014 | Infectious Disease News

April 24, 2014

Source and full article As of early March, there were three circulating strains of avian influenza causing severe disease in humans.

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#H7N9 ruled out in case of second Chinese tourist – FOCUS TAIWAN

April 23, 2014

Source and full article A Chinese tourist who fell ill with symptoms similar to those of H7N9 avian flu has tested negative for the virus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Wednesday.

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CDC monitoring those who had contact with #H7N9 patient

April 23, 2014

Source and full article Taipei, April 23 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Wednesday that it is keeping a close eye on 96 people who came in contact with a Chinese tourist confirmed a day earlier to be infected with H7N9 avian flu. One of the 96 people has been …

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PLOS ONE: A Combination of Serological Assays to Detect Human Antibodies to the Avian Influenza A H7N9 Virus

April 23, 2014

Source and full article Unlike serum collected from adult or elderly populations, the antibody response in children with mild disease was low or undetectable. These combinations of assays will be useful in case diagnosis and serologic investigation of human cases.

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The Host Protease TMPRSS2 Plays a Major Role in In Vivo Replication of Emerging H7N9 and Seasonal Influenza Viruses

April 22, 2014

Source and full article Such drugs could also be effective for many other respiratory viruses, including the recently emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, because they are also activated by TMPRSS2 in vitro. Consequently, the present paper could have a large impact on the battle against respiratory virus infections and contribute greatly to human […]

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The dysfunctional host response to influenza A H7N9: a potential treatment option?

April 22, 2014

Source and full article In the absence of an effective vaccine, targeted regulation of the host immune response by immune modulators might be considered. Readily available, approved drugs with immune-modulating activities might prove to be a treatment option in combination with existing antiviral agents and supportive care.

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