At this time, there are no cases of avian flu H7N9 outside of China. Human infections are uncommon and have typcially followed exposure to infected poultry. There is no present evidence to support person-to-person spread of the H7N9 virus. However, influenza viruses constantly change and it’s possible that this virus could become able to easily and sustainably spread between people. The outbreak of the H7N9 virus is being closely monitored internationally.
A study by CDC and China CDC has identified specific risk factors and exposure risks for human infections with the avian influenza A (H7N9) virus. Key findings showed that exposure to poultry in live bird markets was the primary source of H7N9 infections among people in China. Merely being in a location with poultry was significantly associated with increased risk of H7N9 infection. Many cases were only exposed to a market once in the period when they were likely infected. However, raising poultry at home and consumption of poultry were not associated with an increased risk of H7N9 illness. Underlying health conditions that were significantly associated with H7N9 infections in China included obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and being on immunosuppressive medications.
This study was conducted from April to June 2013 in eight Chinese provinces and used a case-control design. Researchers analyzed data from 89 patients with laboratory-confirmed H7N9 infection and 339 controls. Controls were people in China that were matched to cases by age, sex and neighborhood.
A new bird flu strain that has killed 22 people in China is “one of the most lethal” of its kind and transmits more easily to humans than another strain that has killed hundreds since 2003, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday.
The H7N9 flu has infected 108 people in China since it was first detected in March, according to the Geneva-based WHO.
Although it is not clear exactly how people are being infected, experts say they see no evidence so far of the most worrisome scenario – sustained transmission between people.
An international team of scientists led by the WHO and the Chinese government conducted a five-day investigation in China, but said they were no closer to determining whether the virus might become transmissible between people.
Flu is in the headlines again. On April 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) first reported 3 human infections with a new influenza A (H7N9) virus in China. Since then, additional cases have been reported.
Most of the people reportedly infected have had severe respiratory illness and, in some cases, have died. Fortunately, there are currently no reported cases of H7N9 in the U.S. or anywhere outside of China.
The CDC is following this situation closely and is coordinating with domestic and international partners to take routine preparedness steps
BEIJING, 24 APRIL 2013 – A team of international and Chinese experts has completed its mission to visit Shanghai and Beijing and assess the avian influenza A (H7N9) situation, and to make recommendations to the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC).
The team, which is jointly led by NHFPC and WHO, is comprised of international and Chinese experts in epidemiology, virology, clinical management, public health, and health policy. The purpose of the mission was to assess H7N9 situation and to provide recommendations.
As you know, at the invitation of the China National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), a joint team of domestic and international experts convened by the World Health Organization were asked to assess the H7N9 situation in China and provide recommendations on the prevention and control of the disease.
The team, which is jointly led by NHFPC and WHO, is comprised of international and Chinese influenza experts in epidemiology, virology, clinical management, and other areas related to influenza.
During 19-23 April, we visited laboratories, hospitals, clinics, markets, and affected areas in Shanghai and had discussion with staff and experts from both Beijing and Shanghai. We had open and direct exchanges and discussions with our counterparts in Beijing and Shanghai. We would like to share some of our findings today.