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Researchers Report First Person-To-Person Transmission Of H7N9

“Researchers have reported the first case of human-to-human transmission of the new bird flu that has emerged in China,” BBC News reports (Thomas, 8/6). “A father, who became sick in March, passed the H7N9 virus to his daughter, epidemiologists report Tuesday in BMJ,” NPR’s “Shots” blog writes (Doucleff, 8/6). “The scientists who led the study stressed, however, that the virus has not yet gained the ability to transmit from person to person efficiently — meaning the risk is very low that it could cause a human pandemic in its current form,” according to Reuters (Kelland, 8/6). “Scientists have long feared the virus would mutate into a form that transmits easily from person to person,” Agence France-Presse writes (Le Roux, 8/4). “Researchers say most patients appear to have visited live poultry markets or otherwise had close contact with live birds seven to 10 days before the onset of the illness, which has sickened more than 100 people and resulted in 43 deaths since first appearing in March,” VOA News notes (8/6).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.