While MERS may have our attention right now the H7N9 and H5N1 avian flu viruses continue to circulate, evolve, and occasionally jump to humans in places like China and Egypt. We don't hear about them very much because both China and Egypt stopped `real time' reporting of cases last January.
China now releases monthly numbers, without details, in EOM epidemiological reports.
Today Biological on FluTrackers has picked up a new report from China's National Health and Family Planning indicating 15 H7N9 cases (6 deaths), and 1 (unspecified) bird flu death, during the the month of May in China.
China - NHFPC announces 15 H7N9 cases & 6 deaths for May, and 1 bird flu death (strain not mentioned) - June 11, 2015
Sharon Sanders, who maintains the case listings for H7N8, H5N1, and MERS (among other duties) for Flutrackers has the following commentary:
We picked up these H7N9 cases/deaths already for May:
#666-668 - 3 cases and 1 death announced by Jiangsu provincial health dept. for May, Jiangsu province 1 Death
#669-672 - 4 cases and 4 deaths announced by Zheijiang province health dept for May, Zhejiang province 4 Death
So the above announcement is 8 more H7N9 cases and 1 more death. I will add a line to the case list depicting this.
As to the 1 bird flu death mentioned in the chart in post 1, there is no mention of the strain. In the past China has referred to H5N1 as "bird flu". So far this year there have been 5 persons diagnosed with the H5N1 strain, including 1 death:
24) China - Female, 37, onset January 14, hospitalized January 20
93) China - Male, 46, onset February 18, hospitalized February 21, died February 27, Sichuan Death
95) China - Male, 34, onset March 13, hospitalized March 18, Yunnan
96) China - Male, 17, onset March 17, hospitalized March 20, Yunnan
99) China - Male, 6, announced by CHP on April 3, Yunnan province
Meanwhile Hong Kong's CHP is reporting a single reported H7N9 case in Shanghai.
11 June 2015
From 2013 to date, 641 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities. Regarding the third wave in the Mainland since November 2014, a total of 201 cases have been reported, including 72 in Guangdong, 40 in Fujian, 40 in Zhejiang, 18 in Jiangsu, eight in Anhui, seven in Xinjiang, seven in Shanghai, three in Jiangxi, two in Hunan, two in Shandong, one in Guizhou and one in Hubei.
As disappointing as the reporting has been out of China on H7N9, it has even been worse for H5N1 out of Egypt. After reporting record numbers of human cases between November and March, we've heard virtually nothing on Egypt's H5N1 outbreak since early April.
An unhappy state of affairs with potentially huge downsides that we discussed three weeks ago in Be Prepared For Surprises (Redux).