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by Marijana Domazet, Thursday, July 4, 2013 | Categories: Influenza

We previously wrote about the H7N9 virus that had been detected in China , which was important but not alarming. Back then the research suggested that early detection was key to successfully treat the illness with oseltamivir. This has now been confirmed by a study, which was recently published in the Lancet.

In the study, the researchers analysed results from all patients that had presented to their hospital with flu-like symptoms. Of those, 14 were confirmed to have bird-flu with two being immune to treatment. In order to obtain a full picture of the infected participants’ symptoms, the researchers analysed a wide range of data including haematological results, radiological data, and biochemical and microbiological investigations. The key findings indicated that all of the participants had gotten their infection via cross-species infection, and that treatment within two days of onset was associated with better outcomes than treatment started late. Based on this, the researchers maintained the importance of treating suspected or confirmed cases as soon as possible. In addition to that, the team urged more research to be carried out to look into the pathogenesis of H7N9.

The current study is a step forward in the research of this topic. However, the fact that two participants were immune to the treatment also highlights an important gap in current knowledge that warrants further research. Given that there are many on-going studies that are yet to be published, we have no doubt that there soon will be more information to provide a fuller picture of the H7N9 virus.

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