Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Strain of Bird Flu: The Season is Not Over

The first human case of a new strain of avian flu has been confirmed in China at the end of January.  The woman was admitted into the hospital with a fever and sever pneumonia, and passed away not long after due to organ failure, despite antibiotics and antiviral medications.  Cultures of the microbes in her system were researched and found to be a new strain of the H10N8 virus. This new strain has been called JX346, and is believed to have adapted from poultry to humans in such a way that is more advanced than previous strains and so can better reproduce and thrive in the human body.

Although the majority of flu season seems to be behind us this year, this new identified strain warns us all that it is still highly important to keep healthy habits to prevent illness. Practicing good personal hygiene, eating well, exercising daily, and getting adequate sleep are all essential in keeping our immune system strong and invader-free. While this new strain of bird flu may not have traveled around the world yet, it may only be a matter of time. Regardless, all other strains are still around! Get vaccinated; it is not too late!

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