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.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news