I've been picking up some anxious notes in Flublogia about posts like this February 2 item from the Guangdong Health and Family Planning Commission: Province added two cases of human infection with H7N9 confirmed cases.
Case 1 Liang Yijun, male, 37 years old, currently residing in Triangle Town, Zhongshan City. February 1 confirmed human cases of avian influenza H7N9 infection. Currently patients in critical condition, were treated at a local hospital sentinel.
Case 2 Yijun, male, 63 years old, currently residing in Buji Street. February 1 confirmed human cases of avian influenza H7N9 infection, Feb. 1 after she died.
A Chinese friend tells me that "Yijun" translates into English as "someone." Several people named Liang, living in Triangle Town in Zhongshan, have been reported recently as confirmed H7N9 cases, so speculation is growing that this must be a family cluster.
Well, maybe. But Liang is one of the old hundred names, the most common surnames in China, and Liang is one of the most common of those surnames in Guangdong province.
So until the health authorities start mentioning family relationships (as they usually do when they're dealing with a family cluster), I'll reserve judgement on the connection between cases.
And even if these are family clusters, so what? Families have been sharing sick birds and falling ill together ever since the days of the unfortunate Kocyigit family in Turkey 8 years ago and the Indonesian Ginting family a few months later. We still have no evidence of extended human-to-human transmission, and the total number of cases, out of China's 1.3 billion, is still less than minuscule.
If Zhong Nanshan says we've got reason to worry, I'll worry. Not before.