Monday, April 24, 2017

Jilin Province Reports 1st H7N9 Case Of 2017

Modified FAO Map (Jilin Circle & 38th Parallel Added)


As discussed last week in Beijing CDC - Three More Locally Acquired H7N9 Cases - and as depicted in the map above - H7N9 has been, if not exclusively, at least primarily a problem for Southern and Central China. 
The vast majority of cases have been reported south of the 38th parallel. 
Over the past month we've seen a surge in cases in and around Beijing, a region that has been largely spared from H7N9's impact.  This has raised concerns in the Capital, and has sparked numerous local drills, and inspections of local markets.

Further north and east, and with borders to both North Korea and Russia, lies Jilin Province. During the first four epidemic waves, only 2 cases have ever been reported from Jilin - both during the second wave in the spring of 2014 (see H7N9 Moves North, Guangdong Reports New Cases).

Over the weekend Jilin's Health Ministry reported their first case of this 5th wave, that of a 34 year old man from Tonghua, a city with more than 2 million residents located not far from the North Korean border.

Province this year found the first case of human infection with H7N9 influenza cases confirmed

Published: 2017-04-22     Source: Office of Emergency      

  April 22, Jilin Provincial Health Family Planning Commission informed by Jilin CDC H7N9 virus nucleic acid detection for review, Tonghua City, found a case of human infection with confirmed H7N9 influenza cases, this is the first case of human infection this year, Jilin Province confirmed cases of H7N9 influenza. Patients were male, 34 years old, currently designated hospital for isolation and treatment in a critical condition.

  Experts remind the general public, people infected with H7N9 influenza preventable, controllable and curable, the public should be treated rationally, do not panic. Daily life, the need to cultivate a healthy diet and lifestyle, physical activity, the occurrence of fever and respiratory symptoms, should go to regular medical institutions.

While human cases remain extremely sparse in the northern provinces, and we've seen no indication of sustained or efficient human-to-human transmission of this virus anywhere in China, this latest case has not escaped the notice of the Russian press, which carried the following headline overnight:

Bird flu reached the border with the Russian Federation of Chinese Jilin Province
The first case of H7N9 virus in 2017 was registered in Jilin Province

As we discussed last month in China's Nervous Neighbors, this year's unprecedented H7N9 outbreak has Russia, Vietnam, and much of South Central Asia on alert, as fears grow that this virus will eventually make its way out of China and begin to spread in adjacent countries.

At a time of year when H7N9 cases would normally be winding down, this week saw a doubling of cases over recent week's tallies (see HK CHP Notified Of 27 New H7N9 Cases From The Mainland), with nearly a third of those from north of the 39th parallel.
Whether this spike in cases is a trend, or merely a temporary blip in the data, will require several more weeks to determine. But it is worth noting that over the weekend - in addition to the Jilin case - we've seen fresh reports of H7N9 cases from Hubei, Hunan, and Sichuan provinces.

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