New genotypes of influenza A virus arise quickly and frequently around the world due to continued mutation and reassortment. Novel influenza A viruses pose a direct threat to immunologically naïve humans. A prime example is the recent emergence of avian-origin H7N9 viruses that have become enzootic in China. Three waves of the H7N9 breakout that began in March 2013 have resulted in 571 human cases and over 212 deaths as of 23 February 2015. Real-time influenza surveillance at the wild bird–human interface is essential to limit the outbreak in scale and geographic distribution and to understand the pandemic potential of the H7N9 avian influenza.
Part of the book: Microbiology in Agriculture and Human Health