When Chinese public health officials announced last month that people were sick and dying from a bird flu virus never before seen in humans , researchers immediately began hunting for answers to a deluge of pressing questions. How did the humans become infected? How deadly was the bug? Had it spread to people outside of China? Would anti-influenza drugs work? And how long would it take to make a vaccine?
Join us at a special time, 10 a.m. EDT, on Thursday, 2 May, on this page for a live video chat when we discuss H7N9 with experts. They’ll tackle the questions above and take yours. Be sure to leave your queries in the comment box below.
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Virologist Yuelong Shu wears three hats. He directs both the National Influenza Center in Beijing and the World Health Organization's Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza. He is also deputy director of the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Marion Koopmans is a virologist at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, and a professor at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She helped do extensive analyses of an outbreak of H7N7 in poultry and humans in the Netherlands in 2003. She trained as a veterinarian.
Jon Cohen is a contributing correspondent with Science based in San Diego, California, who covers infectious disease and many other topics. His latest book is Almost Chimpanzee: Redrawing the Lines that Separate Us from Them.