Oklahomans concerned about bird flu

Posted on: 4:00 pm, April 10, 2013, by , updated on: 12:26pm, April 10, 2013

Oklahoma researchers are hoping to calm fears about a possible H7-N9 or “bird flu” outbreak.

As the illness spreads across China, state health departments are preparing for its possible arrival in the US.

Scientist Linda Thompson P.h. D. with Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has studied various influenza strands over the years.

She said it’s much harder for the virus to spread from person to person than it is from chicken to human.

Some Oklahomans expressed concerned about eating chicken.

Medical professionals said because of how the virus is transmitted, people who eat chicken products including eggs don’t have to be worried.

“Influenza is normally transmitted through aerosol droplets,” Thompson said. “So people who have the flu will either cough or sneeze and the virus comes out of what comes out of your nose. Then somebody else inhales that and it goes down into your lungs. Direct contact with an infected chicken would have to happen.”

Reports from China News, Xinhua states as of Tuesday eight people have died and 20 more have been infected but none, at this point, from human to human contact.