While the numbers are still small, we continue to see an unusual number (at least, compared to the first 3 summers) of H7N9 cases reported the past couple of months out of China.
During the epi weeks 21-30 (roughly June & July) of 2013, 2014, and 2015 a total of 7 H7N9 cases were reported by China.
This year alone, that number stands at 12, with 7 in June and 5 more announced today (2 we already knew about) in July. Whether this signifies a change in the virus's behavior, or better surveillance and testing during the `off season' is unknown.
This unseasonable H7N9 activity - including outbreaks in Hong Kong and Macao Live Bird Markets - recently prompted Hong Kong's CHP to publicly warn:
"In view of additional human cases reported in the Mainland with detections of human cases in previously unaffected areas in warmer months, as well as the recent local positive sample of faecal droppings of live poultry, the public should remain vigilant."
Details on July's cases are sadly lacking, as all we have right now is the following announcement (h/t Sharon Sanders on FluTrackers) from China's NHFPC, with the H7N9 tally buried in a line-listing.
July 2016 National Notifiable Infectious Diseases Overview
National Health and Family Planning Commission People's Republic of China
July 2016 (at 0:00 on July 1, 2016 to July 31 24), the country (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the same below) reported a total of 743,189 cases of legal infectious diseases, died 1466 people. Among them, the Group of infectious diseases reported incidence of cholera in the two cases and no deaths. B infectious SARS, polio, highly pathogenic avian influenza and diphtheria morbidity, mortality reports, the remaining 22 infectious diseases were reported incidence of 297,301 cases, 1435 people died. Before the reported incidence of the top five diseases were viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis, bacterial and amoebic dysentery and gonorrhea, accounting for 93% of the total reported cases of class B infectious diseases.
Over the same period, Class C infectious diseases filariasis morbidity, mortality reports, the remaining 10 infectious diseases were reported incidence of 445,886 cases, 31 people died. Before the reported incidence of the three diseases were hand-foot-mouth disease, other infectious diarrhea and mumps, accounting for 97% of the total reported cases of class C infectious diseases.