Tuesday, May 17, 2016

WHO H7N9 Update - May 17th

Credit CDC


In the convoluted world of avian flu reporting out of China we tend to get overlapping reports from several sources that are often belated, lacking in detail, and are hard to match up with other official announcements.

Case in point, this morning Hong Kong's CHP is reporting on 11 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland  - which one might reasonably expect  refers to the 11 cases announced last week by China's  NHFPC for the month of April - except the details don't seem to match up.
Today's HK report mentions `A woman aged 85 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, who shared the same hospital ward with two previously confirmed cases and died.' , a case that was previously reported as having an onset of symptoms on March 1st and passed away on March 8th.    The number of deaths don't match up either. 

However, we do have an update this morning from the World Health Organization, which announces 11 cases and 4 fatalities from March 23rd through April 21st, including one cluster.

Although  human-to-human transmission of H7N9 has only rarely been reported (most cases are linked to poultry exposure), today's announcement is the second one this month from the WHO (see May 3rd report) describing a potential H-2-H cluster. 

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

Disease outbreak news
17 May 2016

On 10 May 2016, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 11 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including 4 deaths.

Onset dates range from 23 March to 21 April. The cases range in age from 23 to 69 years, with a median age of 52 years. Of these 11 cases, 7 (64%) are male. The majority (10 cases, 91%) reported exposure to live poultry, slaughtered poultry or live poultry markets. One (1) case has a history of selling pork in a market.

Cases were reported from 5 provinces and municipalities: Jiangsu (6), Jiangxi (2), Anhui (1), Shandong (1) and Zhejiang (1).

One cluster was reported. It includes:

    A 23-year-old male from Jiangxi Province who developed symptoms on 1 April and was admitted to hospital on 8 April. He purchased poultry at a live poultry market. The patient is currently in critical condition.
    A 43-year-old female case from Jiangxi Province who developed symptoms on 5 April and was admitted to hospital on 15 April. She was exposed to slaughtered poultry at a market and was also exposed to the 23-year-old male. She is currently in critical condition.

Human to human transmission between the two patients cannot be ruled out, even though they both have a history of poultry exposure. Further information is awaited.