Study: Genetic clues help explain severe flu outbreaks among Chinese

01/29/2013 | Reuters

Scientists located a genetic variant common in Chinese populations that could explain why more severe flu outbreaks often start in the Asian country. The variant, rs12252-C, is responsible for a six-fold risk of a severe flu infection, and is also 100 times more likely to be common among the Han Chinese than among people from Western Asian and European countries, according to the study published in the journal Nature Communications. "Understanding why some people may be worse affected than others is crucial in improving our ability to manage flu epidemics and to prevent people dying from the virus," said study leader Tao Dong of Oxford University in the U.K.

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