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Published On: Sat, Apr 27th, 2013

CDC advises on travel to China as human bird flu expands, Use of antivirals for treating Avian Influenza A (H7N9)

The current case count of human avian influenza A(H7N9) is up to 119 in the China outbreak, according to a Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) press release April 26.

According to the CHP, the new cases are as follows:

The three cases in Jiangsu involve three men aged 49, 36 and 60 who are receiving treatment in hospital and their respective condition is stable, serious and critical.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

The two cases in Jiangxi involve a 69-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman who are receiving treatment in hospital. Their condition is critical. The 24 close contacts of them are asymptomatic so far.

The case in Fujian involves a 65-year-old man who is receiving treatment in hospital. The 37 close contacts of him are asymptomatic so far.

The case in Zhejiang involves a 38-year-old man who is receiving treatment in hospital. His condition is serious.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) re-issued its travel notice for China, which includes preventive measures travelers and others living in China can take to prevent contracting the lethal virus.

There is no recommendation against travel to China at this time.

In addition, the federal health agency issued interim recommendations for antiviral treatment of confirmed cases, probable cases, and cases under investigation of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in the United States.

Based on the information about the virus available now; mortality rates, human-to-human transmissability, etc, the CDC says currently approved influenza antivirals have demonstrated decreased time to symptom improvement when used to treat otherwise healthy persons with acute uncomplicated influenza caused by circulating seasonal influenza strains within the first few days of illness.

Because of the potential severity of illness associated with H7N9 virus infection, it is recommended that all confirmed and probable H7N9 case-patients and H7N9 case-patients under investigation receive antiviral treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor (Tamiflu, Relenza) as early as possible. Treatment should be initiated even if it is more than 48 hours after onset of illness. Laboratory testing and initiation of antiviral treatment should occur simultaneously, according to the CDC.

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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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