AI vaccination needed in China to prevent global pandemic, scientists say
Vaccination against avian influenza must become a standard procedure in China to avoid the risk of the the disease mutating and becoming a global pandemic, scientists have warned.
Researchers at the Fudan University Public Health Institute in Shanghai said policy makers need to introduce tough measures to improve poultry biosecurity after a study found that mutations of the H7N9 virus could cause widespread sickness and death, reports the The Poultry Site.
As well as introducing a strict vaccination policy as a requirement for market access, live poultry markets should be permanently closed, they said. On-farm surveillance measures should also be reinforced.
The warnings were made in a study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, in which researchers studied human cases of H7N9 in China to identify the virus’ traits and estimate its risks.
They found that virus samples from two human cases had the same mutation that also makes the virus capable of causing sickness and death.
While the risk of human-to-human transmission is currently low, Bernhard Schwartlander, China representative of the World Health Organization, said it is likely the virus will one day adapt to allow sustained transmission between people.
To address the issue, policymakers need to implement a suite of immediate interventions which poultry producers had to follow, he added.
Posted on July 26, 2017