Deadly flu virus flourishes in lung cells

H7N9 influenza's clinging ability in humans and birds raises concerns about increased transmission between species

By Tina Hesman Saey, 11:33 AM July 3, 2013

A strain of bird flu that has sickened 132 people and killed 37 in China this year may have more potential to spread worldwide than the dreaded H5N1 avian influenza does.

The new flu, known as H7N9 avian influenza, latches onto sugars that coat bird cells — and it can cling to sugars on human cells too, Yuelong Shu of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention and colleagues report July 3 in Nature. That may give the virus the ability to jump from birds to people relatively easily, th...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/deadly-flu-virus-flourishes-lung-cells?mode=pick&context=121