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Chinese Researchers Develop First Bird Flu Vaccine

By: By Jeffrey Kopman
Published: October 28, 2013

The fall season marks the beginning of cold weather for many in the United States. With the drop in temperature comes a variety of autumn ailments — some that are deadly. But preparation and awareness can keep your health intact. (Thinkstock/Altrendo Images)

  • Flu
  • Cold
  • Allergies
  • Sore Throat
  • Heart Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Sinusitis
  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon
  • Asthma
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder

Earlier this year, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that the deadly bird flu would return this fall. That prediction became a reality when a 35-year-old man became the first person infected with the H7N9 flu this season.

(ABOVE: 10 Illnesses that Flourish in Fall)

The Chinese CDC now predicts that the bird flu could reach epidemic levels this winter, but not without a fight: Chinese researchers have developed the first H7N9 vaccine, according to Al Jazeera America.

Without an effective vaccine, doctors treated bird flu the same way they would treat more common forms of the flu. This includes drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza, according to Mayo Clinic.

But the virus still killed 45 of the 130 people infected, making H7N9 one of the most lethal forms of the flu, according to the World Health Organization.

(MORE: Bird Flu One Step Closer to Pandemic?)

Researchers hope the new vaccine will lower the 33.1 percent fatality rate. The vaccine was developed by the First Affiliated Hospital under the School of Medicine at Zhejiang University, Hong Kong University, the Chinese CDC, the National Institute for Food and Drug Control and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

After passing tests on ferrets, it has been approved for humans.

The bird flu infected two Chinese citizens earlier this month, but the virus has not yet spread to other countries.

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