Melbourne: Australian scientists have for the first time developed a test for the new H7N9 bird flu strain which will be vital in keeping the disease out of the country.
Scientists from Queensland have developed the test at Pathology state`s microbiology department in conjunction with the state Paediatric Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Royal Brisbane and Women`s Hospital.
The State Government has said the test will play a major role in keeping the flu out of the country. Meanwhile researchers have said that the test is an essential part of the preparedness for a potential bird flu pandemic.
The H7N9 flu has so far taken 31 live with four more people who died from the virus last week in China. The bird flu strain which first appeared in March has been detected in eastern China and Taiwan only.
The head of the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the current strain of bird flu cannot spark a pandemic in its current form, but that there is no guarantee it will not mutate and cause a serious pandemic.