As we’ve seen with increasing frequency over the past year, the quality and quantity of disease outbreak information being provided to the World Health Organization - and by extension to the public and the international scientific community - by Saudi Arabia, Egypt & China continues to decline.
Today the WHO has posted an H7N9 update – based on information provided to them by China on May 9th – that is current only through April 12th.
When you can describe the epidemiological details of six H7N9 cases in 100 words or less (as is done below), you know you’ve reached a new level of parsimony in disease outbreak reporting.
These are all likely cases that we’ve picked up on, and reported previously. But matching them up to those vague reports based on the information provided here won’t be easy.
Disease outbreak news
14 May 2015
On 9 May 2015, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 6 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus, including 2 deaths.
Onset dates ranged from 26 March to 12 April 2015. Cases ranged in age from 3 to 67 years with a mean age of 36 years. Of these 6 cases, 4 (67%) were male. Four cases (67%) reported exposure to poultry related environment and 2 cases (33%) had unknown exposure. No clusters were reported. Cases were reported from five provinces and municipalities: Anhui (1), Fujian (1), Jiangsu (1), Shanghai (1), and Zhejiang (2).
The Chinese Government has taken the following surveillance and control measures
- Strengthen outbreak surveillance and situation analysis;
- Reinforce case management and medical treatment;
- Conduct risk communication with the public and dissemination information.
WHO is assessing the epidemiological situation and conducting further risk assessment based on the latest information. Overall, the public health risk from avian influenza A(H7N9) viruses has not changed.
Comparing with previous two months, the infection case number is decreasing. Further sporadic human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) infection are expected in affected and possibly neighboring areas. Should human cases from affected areas travel internationally, their infection may be detected in another country during or after arrival. If this were to occur, community level spread is considered unlikely as the virus does not have the ability to transmit easily among humans.