China reports additional H7N9 avian influenza case, brings total to 133
The National Health and Family Planning Commission, China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an additional retrospectively detected laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
According to the WHO update July 4, the patient is a 15-year-old boy reported from Jiangsu who became ill on 25 April 2013 and hospitalized on 26 April 2013. He recovered and was discharged on 2 May 2013. The results of molecular diagnostics were positive for H3N2 seasonal influenza virus and H7N9 avian influenza virus.
This the first case reported from China since May 29 when a six-year-old Beijing boy was confirmed positive for the virus.
To date, WHO has been informed of a total of 133 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 43 deaths.
At the end of March this year, China reported the first-ever human infections with the H7N9 avian influenza virus. Within three weeks, more than 100 additional cases were confirmed.
On May 23 at the World Health Assembly, Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, praised the actions taken in China and in her opening address to the Assembly.
“Chinese officials have promptly traced, monitored, and tested thousands of patient contacts, including hundreds of health care workers. At present, human-to-human transmission of the virus is negligible. However, influenza viruses constantly reinvent themselves. No one can predict the future course of this outbreak.” Dr Chan said in her opening address.
Avian influenza A H7 viruses are a group of influenza viruses that normally circulate among birds. The avian influenza A(H7N9) virus is one subgroup among the larger group of H7 viruses. Although some H7 viruses (H7N2, H7N3 and H7N7) have occasionally been found to infect humans, no human infections with H7N9 viruses have been reported until reports from China earlier this year.
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