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Modelling Reveals Likely Spread of New H7N9 Avian Flu 102

ananyo writes "With Taiwan announcing the first case of H7N9 avian flu outside mainland China, researchers have revealed how the virus may spread in China — and beyond. The projections use risk maps developed for human infection by another, well-established avian flu — H5N1. Indeed, when human cases of H7N9 are overlaid on a risk map, they appear to fall within the highest risk areas for H5N1. The map suggests that high-risk areas for H7N9 might include Shandong province (where the first case was reported 23 April) and a belt extending around the Bohai sea to Liaoning province in the north. Though there has been no evidence of sustained human-to-human spread of H7N9 so far, researchers have analyzed airline passenger data for China. Eastern China — the epicenter of the current the H7N9 outbreak — is one of the world's busiest hubs for airline traffic. From the Nature story: 'A quarter of the global population outside of China lives within two hours of an airport with a direct flight from the outbreak regions, and 70% if a single connecting flight is included.'"
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Modelling Reveals Likely Spread of New H7N9 Avian Flu

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have the sick leave for it, bring it on.

  • With all the crying wolf lately it's a wonder we still see these articles. What happened to SARS, did all five victims of the "pandemic" die without passing it on? H1N1 caused some sniffles. Donald Rumsfeld [] made a killing with his quack medicine [] while GSK fleeced the Brits out of a healthy chunk of their health budget [] during the swine flu hoax. Every year there's a new fake pandemic.

    Almost makes you hope the promised pandemic finally arrives to take out the idiots who keep pump-and-dumping their antiviral
    • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @01:41PM (#43538549) Homepage

      did all five victims of the "pandemic"

      According to WHO the number is actually 773 deaths, with 8273 cases in total.

      • by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @01:50PM (#43538635)
        And out of the 30,000-60,000 deaths that normally result from the flu, 773 is a very small number (1.25%-2.5%). Given that there are about 4-5 major strains of "active" flu every year, that means the "normal" flus each took out about 5,000-10,000 people and SARS only took out 773. So yeah, he may be using hyperbole, but he is accurate in his snide remarks.
        • by jovius ( 974690 )

          SARS is/was more fatal strain, and it was prevented with quick and effective international response. I'm pretty sure people don't want SARS or any new strain to be as prevalently hanging around as common flu. The immune system is not used to it, and there's little reason to let the viruses go freely around and mingle with each other.

          It's a bit morbid to compare the fatalities. I'd rather say that great, only 773. The lower the number the better the response has been.

          • Now I'm curious. Is there any way to predict how bad it could have been if everyone treated SARS with the same level of caution they treat the "normal" strains?
          • What, exactly, was prevented? Do we actually know that our preventative efforts ... did anything? (I'm asking, I'm not exactly making a point; I don't know the answer.)

      • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @01:54PM (#43538671) Homepage Journal

        And the reason that number is so small is due in no small part because effective planning on the part of WHO. I won't side with the ridiculous media on their stupid panic-ridden publications about disease, but modern social health programs are a miracle.

      • did all five victims of the "pandemic"

        According to WHO the number is actually 773 deaths, with 8273 cases in total.

        But who gave you those numbers? We want to know who your source is.

    • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @01:51PM (#43538643)
      Thank you so much for your uninformed opinions. A pandemic, if you could be bothered to look it up, is a disease that spreads across large areas. It has nothing to do with how many die. SARS, H1N1, Swine Flu, et al are all pandemics.
      • by jbrandv ( 96371 )

        OK, I'll look it up. According to Websters: "Pandemic: occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population"
        I don't think any of those you listed fits the definition. Just saying.

        • I don't want to accuse you of cherry picking, but Wikipedia says it is a disease that covers a large geographic region, and says nothing about it having to affect a large proportion of the population. It also specifically says H1N1 is a pandemic in the first paragraph. says pretty much the same thing. Just saying.
    • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @01:52PM (#43538667) Homepage

      All of the pounding noises in your respective heads don't come from the researchers. It comes from all the Mountain Dew and Cheetos you are are mainlining.

        The newspaper article was hardly inflammatory. The Nature summary was actually pretty balanced. What it is showing is that bird flu variants with bird - human transmission seem to be following a pattern. A pattern we might be able to use to our advantage should a real, virulent, pandemic strain show up. Like it did in the 1920's.

      Time to lay off the stimulants, guys.

      I like the fun fact that a significant population of the world is at contact risk should that occur through air travel. Six degrees of separation my ass....

    • Well, I'm not one for over-reacting, but there is a very serious threat of a pandemic happening. It's been well over 80 years since we had a really deadly outbreak and there wasn't mass transit like there is now. If we had an outbreak like that, today, it would be pretty devastating. I don't think there's much we can do about it other than invest heavily in more robust broad spectrum vaccines. If we're lucky, we'll find something before "The big one" strikes us. Of all the Crisis out there that the media bl

    • I actually had H1N1. (Doctor diagnosed.) It was quite unpleasant, but I was never really in any danger. There were deaths, mostly the usual people who die from the flu. The old, the young, those with compromised imune systems. The scairy thing about H1N1 was that it also killed people that were not very old, very young, or with AIDS.
      My doctor told me, that most of the people were dieing from H1N1, and were not old, young, AIDS patinets, etc. were seriously overweight. This little fact didn't get much media
      • I had H1N1 as well. Not a walk in the park by any means - I was bedridden, fevered and delirious, for pretty much an entire week. I also developed a secondary infection, a weak form of pneumonia ("walking pneumonia") that had me hacking for over a month afterwards. A good two-thirds of everyone I worked with went down for a week as well. And these were people in their twenties - not infants or the elderly, like most flus.

        I don't know the stats on mortality rate or anything, but IMO an epidemic that knoc

    • I've heard that the WHO is reporting 91 laboratory-confirmed human cases and 17 deaths in four Provinces and two Municipalities in China. Sounds real enough to me. I feel safe enough here on the Left Coast in Canada... but there's not much more I can do than wash my hands lots and drink more JD... Some easy reading - []
  • for the mix of avian and swine flu. Beware, the Flying Pig Flu!

  • something like the dreadded "mammalian disease" ?

    • by afidel ( 530433 )

      Flu where the primary disease vector is bird to human transmission, generally chickens and ducks raised by the poor to be used as food but which live in close proximity to the owner. They also have a nasty habit of infecting migratory bird species and transmitting the infection to the local bird population along their routes. This is in contrast to those that are primarily spread through pigs (swine flu).

      • by emilper ( 826945 )

        thank you, but you did not answer the question: is there any other infectious disease to affect all birds, or all mammals, or even all fish?

        as far as I remember, the last "avian flu" was infecting only the palmipedae

        when was the last time you took a disease from a dog ? a dog is a lot closer to a human than a bird.

  • Love the title: Modelling Reveals Likely Spread of New H7N9 Avian Flu

    Soo...those of us not in the modelling profession are safe, then? :P

    Also, I wonder exactly what else those models are 'revealing'? Maybe those models should put some more clothes on if they don't want to catch the flu?


  • Whenever I read stories like this it reminds me of a Stephen King short story. I have forgotten the title, but I believe it is what he eventually developed into The Stand. Everyone is dying of a flu-like disease, and one of the characters is thinking that a big monolith should be constructed by the few humans left to inform any future alien visitors as to what happened to our civilization. Carved into the granite, it should simply read, "It was the flu."

  • by hydrofix ( 1253498 ) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @02:59PM (#43539205)

    I certainly hope that Sladhot has acquired "'s express written consent" for linking to their article [] in the scoop, as stipulated in the newspaper's online edition's Terms & Conditions []:

    Hypertext links to this website by other users and websites are permitted provided that the link to this website is in a simple list of companies by pointing to's home page This limited licence entitles other users and websites to link to's home page only, and linking to other content on or information in this website is prohibited without's express written consent.

  • I think all the models are way off considering that usually the "Reality" of the spread of these things is far far less than the "Reporting" of this news.

  • HA! I knew things were better in America, where chickens are separated by people and exposure to the majority of us comes through frozen, deep-fried chicken strips rather than on the bone, in the feather like in China.

  • Your pants are clear for browning.
  • Dear Media,

    We've heard this, or variants of it, too many times and are now desensitized to it.

    Until you show us a pile of bodies, we're inert.


    The People

  • Modelling has a limited ability to help in Engineering. And modelling has no ability to provide data to any real scientific study.

    It does not replace experimentation and real data. And its results should always be taken with a grain of salt. There is no way a model on the scale of human culture and global weather (or even local weather for that matter) can be trusted. The entropy cannot be accurately modelled by the system.
  • The Chinese really ought to use condoms when they are "Chicken Farming".
  • by mtippett ( 110279 ) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @04:59PM (#43540451) Homepage

    The normal flu is quite virulent, but outside of high risk groups, the mortality rate is also quite low. Not pleasant, but low mortality.

    (IANAI - I Am Not An Immunologist) The dangers about these cross-over influenzas is that they tend have a higher-than-average kill rate for generally higher. With global transfer of diseases, a mortality rate of just 1% and infection rate of 10% of the global populate is still around 7 million people. Spanish flu in 1919 had a hit rate of between 2% and 20% (according to wikipedia). A *very* sobering number.

    If we have a contagious, long incubation, high mortality virus hit the globe, we are in a very bad state. Any signal of a pandemic needs to be taken seriously.


  • Dear post-apocalyptic scientists,
    I have the antibodies you seek. Time is short so I won't go into detail, but several years ago I caught a deadly strain of proto-flu from a stray cat. This would have been a death sentence for lesser men, but due to my viking DNA and a cocktail of immuno-boosting supplements, I survived. I've linked to my webpage in hopes that you will still be able to contact me once the human race begins to crumble. Failing that, you can find the entrance to my bunker atop the hill in my

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead