The Novel H7N9 Influenza A Virus: Its Present Impact and Indeterminate Future   Robert E. Kahn, PhD and Juergen A. Richt, DVM, PhD, Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (USA)   “Influenza A viruses are unpredictable in their emergence, ability to mutate or reassort, and especially their capacity to cross species. Each of these three aspects of unpredictability are evident in a puzzling new H7N9 influenza virus which began in China earlier this year and has become a significant public health hazard, but not (at least thus far) a harbinger of a pandemic. It appears that this virus is a newly emerging reassorted bird flu virus with the significant characteristic of travelling among numerous avian and maybe mammalian species as a low pathogenic avian influenza virus which surprisingly is a highly pathogenic virus for the human species. The good news is that there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, but the bad news is that this newly minted H7N9 avian virus can kill human beings who come in contact with birds or poultry that appear healthy but are in fact carrying a lethal zoonotic agent. As Timothy Uyeki and Nancy Cox have pointed out:  “intensified surveillance for H7N9 in humans and animals is essential” (See “Global Concerns Regarding Novel Influenza A (H7N9) Virus Infections,” The New England Journal of Medicine, April 11, 2013 at: ). The world is being given a crash course in the importance of “One Health”, because it is primarily through research at the human-animal-environmental interface that this virus can be better understood and hopefully controlled. ...   ...The precise identification of a new zoonotic  pathogen requires animal, human and environmental scientists to carefully work together [i.e. One Health] in the  field and laboratory  to confirm(i) the identification of the original host species, (ii) its mode of transmission into intermediate host species including humans and (iii) its ecology and survival in the environment. ...   ...What is determinate—what is conclusively settled—is that an increased commitment to the objectives and implementation of the “One Health” approach to medicine in general is now more urgent than ever. ...”   Please read this entire important, thoughtful and insightful perspective on the subject from two outstanding Influenza experts, Drs. Robert E. Kahn and Juergen A. Richt by clicking on PDF attachment.