Husband of Canadian H7N9 patient probably was infected, officials say
The husband of a British Columbia woman who was found to have the first H7N9 avian flu case in North America probably was infected with the virus too, according to a Canadian Press (CP) report today.
British Columbia officials said test results are still pending for the man, but he may test negative for the illness because he had already recovered when samples were taken, according to the story.
The story revealed that the couple, who have not been identified, returned to Canada from China Jan 12. The man got sick with flu-like symptoms 2 days later, and his wife fell ill a day after that. She decided to seek treatment, but her husband did not. They had typical flu symptoms, including fever and a cough.
The woman's physician decided to order a flu test, which was positive for influenza A, the story said. The doctor prescribed oseltamivir (Tamiflu) for the woman and her husband, and both recovered uneventfully, said Bonnie Henry, MD, British Columbia's deputy provincial health officer.
The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) tried to type the woman's virus and found that it wasn't an H3N2 or H1N1 strain, the two type A seasonal flu subtypes. Further testing showed it was an H7, which prompted notification of national health authorities and additional testing that identified the virus as H7N9.
Henry said the man is likely to test negative because of his recovery, but there are plans to test both patients' blood for H7N9 antibodies, according to the story.
The couple reported visiting a number of places in China where chickens were present, but it probably won't be possible to determine just when and where they were infected, Henry told the CP. Most H7N9 patients have reported exposure to poultry.
No illnesses have been reported among contacts of the two patients, the story said. Person-to-person transmission of H7N9 has been reported only rarely, and Canadian officials have said they don't expect to see any further cases.
Jan 27 CP story
Jan 26 CIDRAP News story on woman's case
Jun 27, 2014, CIDRAP News story on H7N9 family clusters
H7N9 hospitalizes two more in China
The H7N9 avian influenza virus has sickened two more people in China's Guangdong province, according to a health department statement translated and posted by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.
One is a 75-year-old woman from Longhua district who is hospitalized in critical condition in Shenzhen, and the other is a 62-year-old woman from Meijiang district who is in critical condition at a hospital in the city of Meizhou. The report didn't give dates for the illness onsets but said the cases were diagnosed yesterday.
Guangdong has reported cases each day for the past 6 days. The two new cases lift the global H7N9 total to 533, according to a case list maintained by FluTrackers.
Jan 27 FluTrackers thread on Guangdong province cases
FluTrackers H7N9 case list