Although we seem to get most of our H7N9 notifications in large batches, often weeks after the fact (see Hong Kong CHP Notified Of 19 Additional H7N9 Cases On Mainland), Guangdong province - due to its close proximity to and trade relations with Hong Kong - is pretty good about notifying the CHP in real time of new avian flu cases.
CHP notified of additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (February 7) received notification of an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Shantou from the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
The patient is a 73-year-old man who lives in Shantou, Guangdong. He had poultry contact before onset of symptoms on February 2. He attended a local hospital for management on February 5 and his condition was serious. His two close contacts put under medical observation have not revealed any abnormalities so far.
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Meanwhile Biological on FluTrackers has picked up a statement from China's NHFPC that contains a table indicating they recorded 28 H7N9 cases, and 5 deaths during the month of January (plus 1 `avian flu'). No details are provided.
We were already aware of 15 of these cases (see FluTrackers' H7N9 Case Listing) from various government and media announcements, and were expecting to see that number rise based on other, unsubtantiated reports.
Although the number of January H7N9 case appears less than the past two winters, the lack of openness on the part of the Chinese government over the past 12 months makes comparisons difficult.