What will the new flu do? Health leaders lay out the clues they are looking for

Global News

Earlier this week, a bird flu virus never before found in humans grabbed world attention after it infected and killed people in China. Scientists have since been scrambling to understand how it happened and, more importantly, whether it poses a risk to public health or could potentially spark a global pandemic.

The good news is that so far there’s no sign that the H7N9 virus is spreading from person to person, but experts say it has mutated in a way that has them a bit worried. Here’s a crash course in Bird Flu 101 to help explain what’s known about the strain and why it matters:

Q: What is the H7N9 virus and what do we know about it?

A: The H7N9 strain – named for the combination of proteins on its surface – has infected at least nine people in China since February, killing three of them. Symptoms include…

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