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As the world’s public health leaders closely watch to see whether the H7N9 virus emerging
in China could become pandemic, experts at the annual General Meeting of the American Society for
Microbiology held in Denver in May emphasized the importance of preparing a nimble response to all
influenza strains with such potential.
As of mid-May, H7N9 had caused 31 deaths and at least another 100 human cases in China, while
many questions about the virus and its likelihood of spreading remained unanswered. Despite the
unknowns, researchers and public health authorities are working feverishly to prepare for a
potential pandemic of H7N9.
Kuehn BM. Preparedness Key to Combating Potential Pandemic Resulting From Any New Influenza
Strain. JAMA. 2013;310(1):18-19. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7130