Thursday, March 2, 2017

2017 and the Large H7N9 Avian Flu Outbreak

I had been interested in the H7N9 avian flu and started to write on this topic in April 2013 (1). But since November 2016 there have been new cases in Southern China. As of the 3rd of January 2017 the WHO counted „a total of 809 laboratory-confirmed human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9) since early 2013”. Wikipedia has counted 1,223, also since 2013 but as of 2nd of March, which makes it more than 400 cases during the past two months. Better work on the number of infected people you will find here: “人感染甲型H7N9禽流感病毒中国“(4). “Between January 19 and February 14, 2017, the Chinese mainland communicated to the WHO 304 cases of newly diagnosed laboratory infections through the National Sanitary Regulations National Focal Point.”

The virus was again first seen in poultry in live bird markets in Southern China, but the Chinese authorities closed these markets, which slowed down new infections. Most of the infected people had direct contact with infected birds, mostly chickens. The virus will unlikely spread from human to human.

Bird might cover great distances, which makes the influenza H7N9 virus dangerous. As the numbers of newly infected people in China is declining, let’s hope, the outbreak stops soon.



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