Between inconsistent reporting by various provinces, and little identifying information on the cases that are announced, keeping track of H7N9 cases in China gets harder every day. It is a mind numbing task that Sharon Sanders has thankfully taken on, and you can access FluTracker's extensively linked and annotated H7N9 case list here.
Today Hong Kong's CHP received notification of 2 additional recent H7N9 cases in neighboring Guangdong Province.
Other than their locations (Jieyang & Zhongshan), no other information (age, gender, onset dates, exposure, etc.) is provided. Omissions that make keeping track of these cases, and matching them to other (similarly sparse) reports, all the more difficult.
As with H5N1 in Egypt, confidence in the accuracy and timeliness of avian flu reporting by the Chinese government has declined significantly over the past year. Guangdong province, likely due to its proximity to, and trade relations with Hong Kong, tends to be more open to reporting human cases than some of the other provinces.
This report from Hong Kong's CHP.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) was today (January 14) notified of two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
According to the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, the two patients in Jieyang and Zhongshan were hospitalised for treatment in stable condition.
"H5 and H7N9 avian influenza viruses can cause severe infections in humans. Due to the seasonal pattern, our risk assessment shows that the activity of avian influenza viruses is expected to increase in winter months. Increased numbers of human H5N6 and H7N9 cases have been recorded in the Mainland since this winter. Locally, birds positive for H5N6 were also detected this winter. The public, particularly poultry traders, travellers and those who may visit the Mainland in the coming Lunar New Year, should be highly alert. Do not visit poultry markets and farms. Avoid poultry contact. We will continue to monitor the regional and global disease situation," a spokesman for the CHP said.
From 2013 to date, 680 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.
The DH's Port Health Office conducts health surveillance measures at all boundary control points. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks on inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up.
The display of posters and broadcast of health messages in departure and arrival halls as health education for travellers is under way. The travel industry and other stakeholders are regularly updated on the latest information.
Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should immediately wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Health-care professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.
The actual (translated) notice published by Guangdong Province lumps several previously reported H5N6 and H7N9 cases into their report. But as of yesterday, only 1 H7N9 case had been reported in Guangdong province in 2016.
2016-01-14 16:19:57 Ministry of Health and Family Planning Commission2016 The first two weeks (January 7 to January 14 10:00) province reports new H7N9 cases, two cases, current address, respectively Jieyang City and Zhongshan. New H5N6 cases one case, the Shenzhen report. Up to now, the province reported a total of 2016 H7N9 cases, 3 cases, 1 death; H5N6 cases, 2 cases.
Experts judged : the province H7N9, H5N6 sporadic cases, January-February period of as much; the popular features and pathogenic biological characteristics have not changed, does not have human transmission conditions, the public need not panic too much.
Experts advise : the epidemic season, the people (especially the elderly, children, pregnant women, there is the basis of low population immunity disease patients) should as far as possible not to have the sale of live poultry farmer's market. Reducing unnecessary people in close contact with live poultry may be effective in preventing human infection with H7N9, H5N6 flu.
Prevention and control of H7N9, H5N6 flu, to achieve the "three to three not" want to wash their hands: after contact with poultry, wash hands before meals and after. To cook: poultry and eggs should be cooked before eating. To early treatment: If fever, cough, headache, general malaise and other respiratory symptoms, we should as soon as possible to the nearest medical institution for treatment. If contact with poultry before, to take the initiative to tell the doctor. Do not eat dead poultry. Do not buy from unknown sources poultry products.