15 Cases of Human Infection with H7N9 Virus are Reported to WHO

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The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China has notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of 15 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including one death.

Details of the cases are as follows:

A 64-year-old farmer from Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on January 27 and was admitted to the hospital on January 30 and transferred to another hospital on February 4. He is currently in severe condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 39-year-old man from Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on January 26 and was admitted to the hospital on January 28 and transferred to another hospital on January 31. He is currently in severe condition The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 66-year-old man from Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, who became ill on January 22 and was admitted to the hospital on February 4. He is in critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 63-year-old man from Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, who became ill on January 20 and was admitted to the hospital on February 1. He is in critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 61-year-old woman from Yueyang City, Hunan Province, who became ill on January 29 and was admitted to the hospital on January 31 and transferred to another hospital on February 3. She is in critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 36-year-old woman from Foshan City, Guangdong Province, who became ill on January 25 and was admitted to the hospital on January 30 and transferred to another hospital on February 2. She is in critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 5-year-old boy from Nanning City, Guangxi Province, who became ill on February 3 and was then transferred to a hospital. He has a mild illness. This patient is a close contact of a previously reported cases, a 41-year-old woman from Nanning City who was notified to WHO on  February 5. An epidemiological investigation is ongoing.

A 73-year-old man from Northern Beijing who became ill on January 30 and was admitted to the hospital on February 2 and was transferred to another hospital on February 5. He is in critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.
 
A 54-year-old man, from Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on February 1 and was admitted to the hospital on February 4. He is currently in a severe condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 76-year-old woman from Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on January 24 and was admitted to the hospital on January 31. She is currently in critical condition.

A 81-year-old man from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, who became ill on January 30 and was admitted to the hospital on February 2 and discharged from the hospital on February 6 at the request of his family and died at home on the same day. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 21-year-old woman from Loudi City, Hunan Province, who became ill on January 30 and was admitted to the hospital on February 1 and then transferred to another hospital on February 2. She is currently in critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 48-year-old man from Zhaoqing City, Guangdong Province, who became ill on January 28. He was admitted to the hospital on January 30 and then transferred to a hospital in Guangzhou City on February 5. He is currently in severe condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 62-year-old man from Zhaoqing City, Guangdong Province, who became ill on February 1 and was admitted to the hospital on February 2. He is currently in severe condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry.

A 59-year-old woman from Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, who became ill on January 27 and was admitted to the hospital on February 1. She is currently in critical condition. The patient has history of exposure to live poultry.
 
So far, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.

The Chinese government continues to take the following surveillance and control measures: strengthen surveillance and situation analysis; reinforce case management and treatment; conduct risk communication with the public and release information; strengthen international collaboration and communication; and conduct scientific studies.
 
While the recent report of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus being detected in live poultry imported from the mainland to Hong Kong SAR, shows the potential for the virus to spread through live poultry, at this time there is no indication that international spread of avian influenza A(H7N9) has occurred through humans or animals. Further sporadic human cases of A(H7N9) infection are expected in affected and possibly neighbouring areas, especially given expected increases in the trade and transport of poultry associated with the Lunar New Year.

WHO advises that travelers to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza should avoid poultry farms, or contact with animals in live bird markets, or entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, or contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with faeces from poultry or other animals. Travelers should also wash their hands often with soap and water. Travellers should follow good food safety and good food hygiene practices.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions.

As always, a diagnosis of infection with an avian influenza virus should be considered in individuals who develop severe acute respiratory symptoms while traveling or soon after returning from an area where avian influenza is a concern.

WHO encourages countries to continue strengthening influenza surveillance, including surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns, in order to ensure reporting of human infections under the IHR (2005), and continue national health preparedness actions.

Source: WHO

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