Hong Kong's CHP has published their latest weekly avian influenza report, which adds 18 H7N9 cases from the Mainland - all of which were reported last Friday by the NHFPC (see Hong Kong CHP Notified By Mainland Of 18 Additional H7N9 Case).
While still elevated, weekly case counts continue to decline (down almost 20% over last week) - a sign perhaps that the closing of live bird markets in areas reporting cases is having its desired effect.
Since the start of this 5th epidemic season last October, just shy of 550 H7N9 infections have been reported - 541 on the Mainland - plus 8 exported cases (5 in Hong Kong, 2 in Macao & 1 in Taiwan).
Since only those those ill enough to be hospitalized are generally tested, and H7N9 can produce a wide spectrum of illness - ranging from asymptomatic to severe - the actual number of infections is unknown (see Beneath The H7N9 Pyramid).
Avian Influenza Report
Avian Influenza Report is a weekly report produced by the Respiratory Disease Office, Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health. This report highlights global avian influenza activity in humans and birds.
VOLUME 13, NUMBER 12
Reporting period: March 19, 2017 – March 25, 2017 (Week 12)
(Published on March 28, 2017)
1. Since the previous issue of Avian Influenza Report (AIR), there were 18 new human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) reported by Mainland China health authorities in Guangxi (5 cases), Hunan (4 cases), Hubei (2 cases), Zhejiang (2 cases), Anhui (1 case), Fujian (1 case), Henan (1 case), Jiangxi (1 case) and Guizhou (1 case). Since March 2013 (as of March 25, 2017), there were a total of 1347 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) reported globally. Since October 2016 (as of March 25, 2017), 541 cases have been recorded in Mainland China.
2. Since the previous issue of AIR, there were no new human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6). Since 2014 (as of March 25, 2017), 16 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) were reported globally and all occurred in Mainland China. The latest case was reported on December 1, 2016.
3. There were no new human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017. From 2011 to 2015, 32 to 145 confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) were reported to WHO annually (according to onset date). In 2016, there have been 10 cases in Egypt.*
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The full report (which runs 9 pages) is well worth downloading and reading, as it contains updates not only on avian flu activity in Mainland China, but around the world.
While it still doesn't reflect it, we are aware of at least 2 H5N1 cases (1 fatal) in Egypt this year.
After two years of declining epidemic numbers, this winter's surge in H7N9 cases - along with its continual evolution (see MMWR:Increase in Human Infections with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) In China's 5th Wave) - keep H7N9 firmly atop the growing list of novel flu viruses with pandemic potential (see IRAT: Revisited).