SAN DIEGO — Timothy M. Uyeki, MD, medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s Influenza Division, discusses new developments in the avian A(H7N9) influenza epidemic.
Since the first human cases were in identified in Eastern and Southern China, the H7N9 epidemic has spread across the region to Western, Northern and Central China, according to Uyeki. In addition, the virus has evolved from a low pathogenic form to a highly pathogenic form. Both viruses are currently circulating in the country and have been transmitted to humans. Because of this antigenic evolution, Uyeki says there is a need for new vaccines.
“At CDC, it’s the number one virus of the greatest concern because of the potential for impact in humans to cause a pandemic as well as the severity of the disease,” he says.
Disclosure: Uyeki reports no relevant financial disclosures.