Despite reports that the H7N9 avian flu has been responsible for 10 deaths out of 28 reported cases in China, international medical authorities don’t yet believe the virus is a concern for flight crews or airline passengers traveling to Asia, or at least not enough for the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend any travel or trade restrictions. All cases have occurred in regions of eastern China–Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, with 13 in Shanghai. None appears to have been transmitted from person-to-person, only to people who have been in contact with infected poultry.
Applied Biosystems, a Warrington, UK, subsidiary of Applera of Norwalk, Conn., is marketing an avian influenza test kit in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The company claims the kit can detect the presence of the bird flu in a “matter of hours, not days.”