Via CIDRAP, Lisa Schnirring writes: H7N9 hospitalizes 6 more in China. Excerpt:
Six H7N9 influenza infections were reported in two Chinese provinces and the city of Shanghai today, keeping the volume of new cases within striking distance of peak activity the country saw during the outbreak's first wave last spring.
China's National Health and Family Planning Commission today addressed the quickly rising number of H7N9 cases, especially since the first of the year, according a report today from Xinhua, the state news agency. It said 28 cases have been reported so far.
The cases are scattered, and so far no mutations have been identified that signal a threat to human health, the commission said in a statement. It added that the virus is still spreading from birds to humans and that the chance of a large-scale outbreak is slim. However, it said the cases are likely to continue rising, alongside the increase in poultry trade to meet the demand for Spring Festival celebrations.
Few details on new cases
Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) addressed four of the cases in a statement today, based on information it received from mainland health officials. The patients include a 54-year-old man from Shanghai and three men from Zhejiang province, ages 54, 62, and 66. No details were available, other than that the four patients are hospitalized.
Meanwhile, Fujian province reported two more cases, according to statements in Chinese from provincial health authorities that were translated by and posted on the Avian Flu Diary infectious disease blog. The patients are a 38-year-old woman from Quanzhou who is hospitalized in critical condition in Jinjiang and a 54-year-old man who is hospitalized in critical condition in Fuzhou.
In addition, another possible H7N9 case from Zhejiang province was flagged by analysts at the FluTrackers infectious disease message board, based on their translations of Chinese-language media reports. According to the group's translation the patient is a 35-yaer-old man from the city of Cixi who is hospitalized in Ningbo. He had been exposed to poultry before he got sick.
Today's confirmed case announcements lift the H7N9 outbreak total to 194 infections, including 53 deaths.
In a related development, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided more details on four cases that were originally reported by China on Jan 15. All the patients are middle-aged adult men who got sick the first week of January and are hospitalized in critical condition. Two of them—a 35-year-old from Shanghai and a 55-year-old from Guangdong province—had been exposed to poultry before becoming ill.