Between the piecemeal announcements and - for many of these reports - the lack of patient detail provided, keeping an accurate track of cases and counts of avian flu in China has become increasingly difficult.
No one maintains a better public case list than Sharon Sanders at FluTrackers, but she would be the first to admit we don't know what we don't know.
Yesterday, Chinese media announced two `new' H7N9 cases in Shenzhen, but their diagnosis dates were stated to be the 30th and 31st of December, and so they are presumably part of the batch of 14 December cases announced earlier this week by Guangdong Province.
Or perhaps not. We simply have no way of cross checking, as no information of the Guangdong cases has been provided.
It is also almost certain that many milder infections go unreported, as only those sick enough to be hospitalized are generally tested, and we've no good feel for how comprehensive their testing is, particularly in rural facilities.
Any way you look at it, the `official' numbers we get are likely serious under counts. Which is not to suggest there are millions of cases, or even tens of thousands, but almost certainly many more than are reported each year.
Which brings us to the following very brief report from the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission, advising us on their third H7N9 case of the 2016-2017 winter epidemic season.
Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission on January 7 informed that Shanghai reported a case of human infection with H7N9 virus confirmed cases.
Patients, Lee, male, 58 years old, the city residence. Diagnosed on January 7, is now being actively in treatment.
Meanwhile Hong Kong's head of public health, Dr. Ko Wing-man, warns that the risk of seeing more H7N9 cases continues for several more months. This (translated) report comes from HK Govt. News.
January 7, 2017Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said the local winter has been imported confirmed three human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) case, he reminded members of the public as to the Mainland bird flu affected areas, do not have to sell live poultry downtown.
Ko Wing-man, after attending the event to the media today, said the high death rate of human infection of bird flu, up to 30-40%. Although so far no evidence of H7N9 virus from person to person, but the authorities will not be taken lightly, the CHP will track all those who had contact with the patient, as they test to determine the uninfected.
He also said that the HA has taken contingency plans to cope with the next one or two months in front of the flu, including temporary beds reserved and proper deployment of manpower.
(Continue . . . )