Thursday, June 16, 2016

China: 4th June H7N9 Case Reported

Credit CDC

#11, 463

After yesterday's report of 3 rare June H7N9 cases reported by China (see China: An Unusual June Surge In H7N9 cases) Sharon Sanders of FluTrackers picked up an FAO report indicating yet another case had been reported in Jiangsu Province last week (see FT thread).

While highly suggestive of a 4th case, by itself - with no identifying information - this report is hard to pin down.  However, within minutes, Biological100 found a confirmatory report on Taiwan's CDC site: 

Chinese mainland Jiangsu Province on 6/10 released one cases of H7N9 influenza cases, case for the 6/7 discovered in Nanjing Dachang region, age, sex, and history of exposure to birds is unknown, the epidemic is now in tune; the authorities have for live poultry within proximity of market closed embodiment, sterilization and handling live poultry.

This sort of corroboration is important, since the data we get out of China is often fragmented, inconsistent, and sometimes weeks or even months late.  As an example, overnight the FAO reported two more H7N9 cases from Jiangsu - dated yesterday - but these appear to be from early last May.

H7N9 infections during the summer months - while not unheard of - are a pretty rare occurrence, as the virus normally spreads best in cool or cold weather. 

It will take more than four late season cases before we can call this any sort of trend, but we'll be keeping as close an eye on avian flu in China as their reporting restrictions will allow over the next few months.

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