Chinese officials have been killing chickens in areas affected by H7N9 avian flu, and have finally succeeded in stemming the flow of people hospitalized with bird flu symptoms.
But scientists says it’s likely only a temporary success, and that H7N9 avian flu will likely return next flu season. (And chickens don’t show H7N9 bird flu symptoms, so it could sneak up on us!)
For the last few years, scientists have been watching new flu strains very closely, because not only are we “due” for a pandemic, conditions are right. H7N9 looks like it could be that strain. It’s already been shown capable of spreading between humans, although close quarters are needed. Even though there haven’t been new hospitalizations, there are likely still many people infected—not everyone had bird flu symptoms severe enough to warrant a stay in the ICU.
What concerns scientists watching the virus is that it’s behaving like other flu strains, meaning it looks like it will flare up again next flu season. Already capable of spreading between humans, the time between now and then is long enough for it to become able to spread even more easily, especially since there are many people out there still infected and incubating it (scientists were already shocked by how prepared this new virus was to spread and infect humans, so it may not take much for it to adapt to our biology and become more virulent).
If/When it becomes more virulent, humans will have no previous immunity to suppress the effects of the virus—the last bird flu epidemic didn’t spread very far out of Asia, and considering the population/potential, didn’t affect that many people. American researchers developing a vaccine are also finding that getting our immune systems to respond to the virus is difficult, and that it will likely be a two dose vaccine that also contains immune system stimulating agents.
So write yourself a sticky note: next fall, bird flu may go world wide (as it tried so very hard to do this last flu season), and when it does, your immune system will need all the help it can get. Colloids For Life has all the things you need to stock up on to support your immune system, from our colloidal silver sinus flooding kit to high quality multivitamins.
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