Chinese health authorities have identified a brand-new type of bird flu that killed an elderly woman in November 2013 and infected at least one person in January 2014. The trend prompted the experts to call for heightened surveillance to track the new H10N8 influenza virus in poultry markets and in human patients. Genetic analysis of the H10N8 influenza virus revealed that it has two mutations that make flu viruses more virulent in mammals. Experts say they know enough to be wary of the H10N8 virus, which could become extremely dangerous if it were to develop the ability to jump from person to person. The research team noted that there was a six-month gap between the first human case of H5N1 flu in Hong Kong in 1997 and the following 17 cases, so now is the time to be vigilant with H10N8.

(Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Financial Times February 6, 2014)