Post bird flu (H5N1) and swine flu (H1N1), researchers found there was now a sea lion or a strain of flu H3N8 viruses are infectious and can also threaten humans. H3N8 viruses have caused 162 deaths of sea lions in the harbor of New England last year.
The new flu virus was identified on the seas lions in American ports, which have the potential to spread to other mammals, including humans.
Examination of post-mortem samples from five other lions have shown that these animals are killed because of flu infection.
These strains are closely related to the circulation of the birds in North America since 2002. But unlike the avian strain, this strain has adapted to life in mammals.
Also developed a strain of H3N8 viruses known mutations that facilitate transmission and cause more severe symptoms. In particular, this virus has the ability to target proteins known as cytokines, which are found in the human lung.
This can cause the immune system becomes redundant and attack themselves, thus causing tissue damage. This condition can also cause lung susceptible to pneumonia and bacterial infections.
“There is concern that the virus can be transmitted to mammals move in humans. This combination we have not seen before,” explained Dr. Anne Moscona, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, as reported by Dailymail.
This warning has been published in the online journal of the American Society for Microbiology, mBio.
One cause of concern is the fact that some scientists have considered the possibility of bird flu virus to infect sea lions. This highlights the fact that pandemic influenza can appear in unexpected ways.
“Flu can come from anywhere and our readiness to be much better than we previously thought. We must be very agile to identify and understand the potential risks posed by new viruses that emerge from an unexpected source,” Dr. Moscona.
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