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Published On: Tue, Apr 2nd, 2013

China reports four new avian influenza H7N9 cases, total cases at seven

In a follow up to a story yesterday, Chinese health officials are reporting four additional human cases of H7N9 bird flu, according to a Xinhua report April 2.

bird flu

H5N1 Avian Influenza
Image/CDC

The four new patients, ages 32 to 83, are hospitalized and critically ill according to health authorities. The officials said laboratory tests had confirmed that all four were infected with a strain of bird flu identified as H7N9, the same strain seen in the three cases reported yesterday.

To date, the number of fatalities due to this virus remains at two.

The four included a 45-year-old woman from Nanjing, a 48-year-old woman from Suqian, a 83-year-old man from Suzhou, and a 32-year-old woman from Wuxi.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the cases of A(H7N9) are of concern because these are the first reported cases of this avian influenza virus in humans.

They also say there has been no evidence of human to human transmission among contacts of or between the confirmed cases. For the four new cases reported from Jiangsu Province, 167 people who had come into contact with the four showed no symptoms of fever or respiratory illnesses.

CIDRAP News reports, China’s CDC said information about the clinical course of the disease is limited, but so far it appears that an acute fever, high temperature, cough, and respiratory infection symptoms occur early in the disease. More severe manifestations appear 5 to 7 days later, including severe pneumonia that can progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. So far, no subclinical infections have been found in blood testing of contacts. “But we cannot rule out the possibility of human-to-human transmission until we know more about the virus characteristics and results from ongoing investigations,” a Chinese statement said.

The ongoing investigation includes determining the extent of the outbreak, the source of infection, the mode of transmission, the best clinical treatment and necessary prevention and control measures.

The overall investigation includes determining if this has any connection with the 16,000 pigs dumped into Shanghai rivers; however, the WHO says  there is no evidence of any connection.

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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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