News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


ESR Scientists Monitoring For New Strain Of Avian Influenza

ESR Scientists Monitoring For New Strain Of Avian Influenza A(H7N9)

9 April 2013

ESR Scientists at the World Health Organisation National Influenza Centre (WHO NIC) in Wellington are able to test for the new A(H7N9) strain of influenza virus, which has been identified in China.

ESR runs the WHO NIC at the purpose built National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease (NCBID) in Upper Hutt, Wellington, which was the nerve centre for the 2009 response to the ‘swine flu’ pandemic, monitoring the spread of the virus and working across the health system to plan New Zealand’s response.

The latest WHO update on A(H7N9) issued on Sunday states that to date, a total of 21 cases have been laboratory confirmed with influenza A(H7N9) virus in China, including six deaths, 12 severe cases and three mild cases. The latest WHO FAQ on A(H7N9) is available here.

Dr Sue Huang is a virologist and Director of the WHO NIC. Dr Huang also heads up the international SHIVERS study currently underway in New Zealand to comprehensively investigate influenza. She says there is no sign of this new strain in New Zealand. “Being part of the WHO network, we are in contact with our international colleagues to learn more about this new strain as well as providing precautionary monitoring for any sign of the virus here.”

“As a precaution this laboratory will be investigating samples from any patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection that are positive for certain strands of influenza A. WHO is working swiftly to provide laboratories like ours around the world with appropriate diagnostic assays to assist in the identification of and response to this strain.”

“New Zealand has a very comprehensive surveillance system to monitor the influenza virus. Following the work around the 2009 pandemic, this country also has a very robust response plan in place for any such event in the future.”

Dr Huang said: “Until recently the A(H7N9) virus was not known to infect humans. Influenza A H7 viruses are a group of influenza viruses that normally circulate among birds. Whenever new strains occur around the world, our job here is to work with our international colleagues to study the new virus, so that we can best protect against its spread and care for those who do contract it.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Game Review: Until Dawn - Pick Your Own Horrible Adventure

Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn sees a group of dumb sexy teenagers take a trip to a spooky mansion atop a mountain. It is, obviously, a horror game. However, the game is so ridiculous it turns out to be more of a comedy. More>>

John McBeth: Our World Cup All Blacks

Forty or fifty years ago nobody really had any idea of what the selectors had in mind. There were often several trials, which sometimes featured over 150 players, possibly an inter island match or a final trial, then we listened to the announcement of the team on radio. The players weren't flown into the capital for a parliamentary function... More>>

ALSO:

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news