Arizona testing for new strain of avian flu

2013-05-03T08:30:00Z Arizona testing for new strain of avian fluStephanie Innes ARIZONA DAILY STAR Arizona Daily Star
May 03, 2013 8:30 am  • 

In response to a new strain of influenza reported in China, the Arizona State Laboratory has obtained H7N9 influenza test kits from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

China is continuing to report more and more cases of the new H7N9 Influenza virus, Arizona Department of Health Director Will Humble wrote in a recent blog.

So far, the death rate is high - about 20 percent and at least 108 cases have been confirmed. All the cases appear to have jumped from birds to humans, meaning that there's no human-to-human transmission, Humble wrote.

There is a concern that if a person becomes infected with a seasonal influenza strain and the new H7N9 strain at the same time, the two viruses could create a new strain that could be communicable humans to human, Humble said.

State officials ran Arizona's first test for H7N9 last week on a sample from a sick Arizona resident with a travel history to the parts of China that have been reporting H7N9 influenza. The sample tested negative.

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