News & AnalysisINFLUENZA

New Flu Virus in China Worries and Confuses

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Science  12 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6129, pp. 129-130
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6129.129

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A novel bird flu virus, designated H7N9, has infected three humans in China, killing two of them. While the Chinese government has won praise for aggressively pursuing this outbreak and openly discussing its findings, how the confirmed cases became infected is a mystery. Still, many researchers are guardedly optimistic: There is no persuasive evidence that the virus spreads between people, an ability it would need to set off the next flu pandemic.

  • * With reporting by Kai Kupferschmidt and Mara Hvistendahl.