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  •  someone other then me posting on H7N9? (1+ / 0-)
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    Meteor Blades

    I approve this message.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:35:12 PM PDT

    •  Greg, a brief explainer on nomenclature (0+ / 0-)

      (e.g., H7N9) would/might be of interest. As I recall, it's not just a random naming scheme. Or perhaps I've just read too much Greg Bear.

      Alpacas spit if you annoy them. So don't do that.

      by alpaca farmer on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 06:50:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the flu virus has spiky proteins on the outside (1+ / 0-)
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        alpaca farmer

        the H is for hemagglutinin and the N is for neuraminidase. If you see the H and the N referred to, by the way, then we are talking about an influenza A strain. A similar virus, influenza B, does not get referred to by H's and N's. And only influenza A causes worldwide pandemics.

        All influenza A viruses contain hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, but the structure of these proteins differ from strain to strain due to rapid genetic mutation in the viral genome.

        Influenza A virus strains are assigned an H number and an N number based on which forms of these two proteins the strain contains. There are 16 H and 9 N subtypes known in birds, but only H 1, 2 and 3, and N 1 and 2 are commonly found in humans. There are also Influenza type B viruses.

        http://wiki.answers.com/...

        If the flu virus circulating is replaced by a different flu virus with different proteins, like what happened in 2009 (H3N2 replaced by H1N1), the immunity from last year may not help much. And if there's a new flu virus out there with Hs and Ns that humans are not used to seeing at all, watch out. We could have a worldwide pandemic. But for that to happen 1) the virus has to cause disease in humans, and B) it has to be easily transmitted form person to person as well as III.) it has to be a novel virus that humans don't have immunity to.

        All three criteria were met in 2009, but H5N1 bird flu hasn't quite learned B). By the way, all flus are bird flus, in the sense that birds get them all. Not all are deadly. Not all are catchable by humans (we have different receptors than ducks).

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:13:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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