The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has started researching how humans can avoid contracting the H7N9 virus.
The project, with joint efforts from nine CAS institutes including the Institute of Microbiology and the Institute of Biophysics, focuses on H7N9's origin, mutations, pathogenesis and interactions with hosts, among other aspects, according to a CAS statement released on Tuesday.
These institutes will conduct scientific evaluations on immune system responses to the virus as well as the performances of antiviral drugs in the hope of accelerating the development of new medicines against the virus.
Describing the prevention and control of flu viruses as a "long-time task," the CAS said it will set up a long-term work mechanism that enables various CAS institutes to strengthen cooperation with other units that are fighting the virus on the front lines.
According to the statement, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and several clinical organizations have also joined hands with the CAS in the research.
A man confirmed to have caught H7N9 bird flu died on Tuesday in east China's Jiangsu Province, bringing the death toll from the virus to eight nationwide. (Xinhua)