Chicken H7N9 has been growing in China. But this is about another strain of bird flu, one that was identified years ago but has since evolved to be well suited for humans.

H10N8 is highly virulent. Several strains of bird flu contributed to its make-up, creating something that has evolved over the last seven years to be well suited to mammals, and early analysis as well as the first two cases indicate that it will be highly virulent.

It seems like bird flu is coming from all sides. H7N9 doesn’t pass between humans (just like when it was new last year, we’re waiting to see what will happen with H10N8—unfortunately, it has a gene that could easily mutate to make transmission easy). There are many strains poised to mutate to a virulent strength of pandemic proportions—none may go, or one, or all.

Fighting against bird flu at that level is a matter if research—H10N8 was not phased by current treatments. But on the personal level it’s a matter of immune strength—concurrent diseases are really a weak spot—and avoiding transmission. That means taking excellent care of any birds you own, washing hands frequently, and staying home when sick.

Travelling to China? Stock up on face masks.

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