Jiangxi Province has never exactly been a hotbed of H7N9 cases, accounting for less than 2% (n=14) of all of the 815 known cases in China. Last year, they reported only 3 infections.
Today, in a brief announcement from the Jiangxi Health & Family Planning Commission, we learn of their first case of this winter.
Jiangxi confirmed a case of H7N9 cases
Jiangxi Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission reported on December 31, Jiangxi confirmed cases of H7N9 cases. At present, the patient in critical condition, is a hospital in Nanchang.
Patients Wang, male, 53 years old, live in Jingdezhen City. December 30, Jiangxi Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Jingdezhen City, sent to the patient samples were identified as H7N9 virus nucleic acid positive. Provincial Health and Family Planning Committee of experts based on clinical manifestations of patients, laboratory testing and epidemiological survey results, the diagnosis of patients with H7N9 cases.
While the number of H7N9 cases has been on the uptick in the past few weeks, case reports remain widely scattered, infections appear sporadic, and primarily associated with contact with infected birds - usually poultry.
We are entering the 5th winter epidemic of H7N9, and while the virus continues to evolve, and its behavior has changed slightly (see MMWR: Assessing The 4th Epidemic Wave Of H7N9 In China), we haven't seen any evidence of sustained or efficient human-to-human transmission of the virus.
The caveat being we are likely only seeing the `sickest of the sick' being identified by Chinese surveillance, and the number of confirmed cases is likely a significant undercount of the true burden of the disease.
The MMWR report referenced above noted:
There is no evidence of increased transmissibility of A(H7N9) virus from poultry or environmental exposures to humans in China or sustained human-to-human transmission; however, using the Influenza Risk Assessment Tool (10), CDC found that A(H7N9) virus has the highest potential pandemic risk of any novel influenza A viruses that have been assessed.
So we watch the events in China very closely.