Although greatly subdued this past winter - likely due to last year's aggressive H5-H7 poultry vaccination campaign - for the second time in two weeks (see Apr 6th report) China's MOA is reporting another large poultry outbreak of H7N9, this time in Ningxia Province.
This report from China's Ministry of Agriculture Veterinary Services.
On April 3, chickens raised by a certain breeder in Tongxin County of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region were suspected to have avian flu symptoms, including 1200 cases and 585 deaths.
On April 14, the Animal Disease Control and Prevention Center of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region was diagnosed with suspected bird flu. On April 16, the national bird flu reference laboratory confirmed the epidemic was the H7N9 flu epidemic.
After the outbreak of the epidemic, local authorities have effectively handled the epidemic in accordance with the requirements of the relevant preplans and technical standards for prevention and control. 13578 poultry have been culled and detoxified. At present, the epidemic has been effectively controlled.
While H7N9 hasn't yet managed to adapt well enough to human physiology to transmit efficiently, the CDC's IRAT system ranks the two lineages of this subtype at the top of their list of viruses with the greatest pandemic potential.
Although human H7N9 cases and poultry outbreaks have been greatly suppressed since last summer, how long that happy state of affairs will last is anyone's guess.