Updated on 20 June 2014
Scientists explained that it would be difficult to contain the virus in densely populated areas with live bird markets
Singapore: Scientists cautioned that five other Asian countries could soon be a potential breeding ground for the H7N9 virus. The presence of live bird markets in densely populated areas of countries like Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam could be a major reason for worry, said the scientists.
A study published in the journal Nature Communications, elaborated that considering the slow expansion of H7N9 virus across geographies despite strict surveillance and control measures, indicated that the virus was difficult to contain along poultry market chains.
The study was led by scientists at the Free University of Brussels, the International Livestock Research Institute, Oxford University and the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
The research indicated that smaller farms where domestic fowl are likelier to come into contact with wild birds, and trading in infected poultry at local markets were major channels for spreading the virus.
H7N9 had initially triggered fears of the virus undergoing mutation and spreading across the globe however, WHO and Chinese officials confirmed that human to human transmission was relatively low, except in a few sporadic cases.