It appears that we are in for a heavy H7N9-news morning, but starting out we have a report from Guangdong Province - which reported 15 human cases in December - adding another 11 cases during the first two weeks of January, including 2 deaths.
As mentioned yesterday in H7N9: Muddled Media Reports & A Hong Kong Update, while official reports have been sparse, there's been enough chatter to suggest that H7N9 infections were still on the rise on the mainland.With Chinese New Year's less than 2 weeks away (and the world's biggest travel season of the year already underway - see The CDC's Travel Advice For Lunar New Year's In Asia), there are growing concerns how that could impact the spread of the virus.
Today's (translated) report from Guangdong Province - with a typically inocuous headline and which manages to bury the lede (which I've bolded) 3 paragraphs down - follows:
Ministry of Health and Family Planning Commission held a H7N9 influenza prevention and control will meet the media(Continue . . )
2017-01-17 16:39:25 Ministry of Health and Family Planning Commission
January 16, 2017 morning, the Ministry of Health and Family Planning Commission held a H7N9 influenza prevention and control of the media conference. Provincial Family Planning Commission of Health Emergency Office, Publicity Department of the relevant responsible comrades of the provincial Center for Disease Prevention and Control Expert Jianfeng, chief provincial H7N9 influenza severe treatment team leader Tan iron and attended the meeting. Xinhua News Agency, the Nanfang Daily, Guangzhou Daily, the Express, the Yangcheng Evening News, Information Times, Guangdong TV, Radio Guangdong, Guangzhou TV and other media attended the conference.
Meeting will be informed of the recent outbreaks in Guangdong and prevention measures, the epidemic prevention and control expert analysis of the situation and on how to do prevention and control carried out scientific propaganda, treatment experts, the current situation treatment patients.
As at 10:00 on January 17, 2017 in Guangdong were reported H7N9 cases in 11 cases, 2 deaths. Foshan distribution of cases in 3 cases, 2 cases of Guangzhou, Zhongshan and Zhaoqing, Meizhou, Dongguan, Shunde, Qingyuan and 1 case.
It is understood that the Guangdong Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission attaches great importance to H7N9 epidemic prevention and control work.
First, the organization of health planning, agriculture, meteorology and other multi-sectoral experts to study them. Experts predict that the current H7N9 epidemic in our province has entered the high incidence of 2017 H7N9 influenza incidence was higher than 2016, and possibly other subtypes of influenza infection cases occur, but still showing dissemination characteristics, the overall epidemic preventable and controllable.
The second is to strengthen the monitoring. Ministry of Health and Family Planning Commission in the province's 21 cities to carry out surveillance of influenza and pneumonia cases outside the live bird market environmental monitoring. 2016 cases of influenza-like illness and pneumonia province's 21 cities monitored 30,000 copies, 17,000 copies of monitoring environmental samples outside the poultry market. In January 2017 the first week in 15 cities 21 market environment sampling 637 parts 60 parts H7 subtypes detected in positive samples, sample positive rate 9.42%.
Third, go all out to treat cases. Ministry of Health and Family Planning Commission established the Expert Group on H7N9 influenza clinical treatment. Each case after receiving the report, were sent to the scene provincial experts for consultation, based on expert judgment, as far as can be transferred to the designated hospital for treatment, to "focus on the patient, a pool of experts, pooling of resources, focus on treatment."
Fourth, strengthen training. Ministry of Health and Family Planning Commission on January 4 and January 12 has organized two H7N9 prevention and control of staff training, video training sessions organized the province's primary health care institutions H7N9 cases, medical treatment, invited the Provincial People's Hospital, the provincial disease control Center experts prevention and control training, trainees reached 400,000.
Fifth, strengthen supervision. Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Planning Commission, Department of Commerce, the provincial Department of Agriculture, Trade and Industry Bureau, the Provincial Food and Drug Administration sent 12 Joint Steering Group for the province's 21 cities to carry out prevention and control work supervision. Key Steering "centralized slaughtering, cold chain distribution, fresh listing" work and live bird markets operate "One day a cleaning and disinfection week a clean-up, closed in January, the day of zero population live poultry retail market (1110)," the implementation of standardized management Happening.
This spike in cases, and high prevalance in local poultry, will no doubt raise concerns in both Hong Kong and Macao, which lie adjacent to Gaungdong Province, and receive hundreds of thousands of visitors each week, and import a large amount of poultry from their neighbor.