CHINA : Expert backs jabs amid strain fears. -- (The Standard)


Meanwhile, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases director Zhong Nanshan said the presence of both H1N1 and H5N1 bird flu viruses in the mainland meant that they could mix and become a monstrous hybrid - a bug packed with strong killing power that may transmit efficiently among people.

"Inside China, H5N1 has existed for some time, so if there is really a reassortment between H1N1 and H5N1, it will be a disaster," Zhong said.

He said the virus could undergo a process of "reassortment" with another influenza virus, producing a new strain.

"The most obvious risk is of H5N1 combining with the pandemic ... (H1N1) virus, producing a flu virus that is as deadly as the former and as contagious as the latter," Zhong said.

Expert backs jabs amid strain fears

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