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Published On: Sat, Apr 20th, 2013

Avian influenza H7N9 outbreak climbs to 95 cases as experts converge on China

Chinese health authorities have announced an additional four human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), bring the total to 95, according to a Reuters report today.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

Three of the new cases were from Zhejiang province while one case was from Jiangsu.

In addition, an 18th fatality was reported in a 69-year old man from Zhejiang province Friday night despite emergency treatment.

These numbers are up from the latest WHO update Friday of 91 cases and 17 deaths.

The WHO Representative in China, Dr Michael O’Leary gave a media briefing yesterday announcing how a joint team of experts are arriving in China to study the situation and provide recommendations on prevention and control of the disease.

The team of 15 experts from the Chinese CDC, the WHO, the US CDC, the ECDC, Australia and Hong Kong consisting of specialists in virology, epidemiology and other disciplines will try to find the answers to questions like, What is the source of the virus? and How is it spread?

The World Health Organization says at this stage there is “limited” evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Three clusters of infection have been identified. In each case, they involved family members living in close proximity. It was not clear whether relatives had transmitted the virus to each other, or whether they had been exposed to the same initial source of the illness.

“This becomes a different situation if the virus has human-to-human transmission,” O’Leary said.

The WHO reported that of more than 80,000 birds tested in China, less than 40 had tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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