Wednesday, May 29, 2013

H7N9 bird flu and swine flu can 'combine and mutate'

The H7N9 bird flu virus may combine with the swine flu and mutate into a new virus strain, a University of Hong Kong research team warns.

The team's study, reported by the South China Morning Post yesterday, confirmed that the bird flu could be transmitted through the air and suggested it might already be spreading among humans.

"It is possible that this virus can evolve further to form the basis of a future pandemic threat," said Maria Zhu Huachen, an assistant professor of research at HKU's school of public health.

The team, which officially announced their findings yesterday, discovered that both ferrets and pigs could contract H7N9.