WHO update covers 28 recent H7N9 cases in China
The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported on the latest H7N9 avian influenza pattern in China, still tied primarily to poultry contact, based on the country's Feb 5 report covering 28 recent cases.
Illness onsets ranged from Dec 21 to Jan 25, with an age range of 14 to 91 years. The median age was 58, and 19 (64%) of the patients were male.
Twenty-five (89%) of those infected had been exposed to live poultry or live poultry markets, and the source of the virus isn't known or is unclear for three people.
Chinese authorities told the WHO that no cases were part of clusters and that the illnesses were reported in six provinces, though nearly half (13) were from Zhejiang province. According to a separate case detail document, five people died from their infections, 17 are hospitalized in critical condition, and five are listed as severely ill. One patient, a 14-year-old boy, had a mild illness.
The WHO said it continues to assess China's H7N9 developments, but so far the risk picture hasn't changed: it expects to see more sporadic cases in affected or neighboring areas.
According to a regularly updated case list from FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board, the global H7N9 count is 735 cases.
Feb 10 WHO statement
Spreadsheet of case details
FluTrackers H7N9 case list
France reports another H5N9 outbreak; Nigeria detects more H5N1
French agriculture officials yesterday reported another highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in poultry, apparently the country's first since Jan 13, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). And in a separate report to the OIE, Nigeria reported nine more H5N1 outbreaks.
The affected French farm is in Pyrenees-Atlantiques department, which had already reported recent outbreaks. Excess deaths in broilers triggered testing, which revealed the H5N9 strain. The event began on Feb 3 and was listed yesterday as resolved.
Of 4,400 susceptible birds, the virus killed 80, and the rest were culled to control the virus’s spread.
The latest outbreak lifts the number of recent avian flu outbreaks in France to 70. All of them have occurred in eight departments in the southwestern part of the country. The spate of outbreaks began in November and has involved H5N9, H5N1, and H5N2.
Feb 9 OIE report on French outbreak
Elsewhere, Nigeria reported nine more H5N1 outbreaks in five different states: Federal Capital Territory (2), Kaduna (2). Kano (2), Plateau (2), and Bauchi (1). All occurred on poultry farms, mainly at egg laying facilities. The events began between Feb 2 and Feb 7.
Of 43,746 susceptible birds, the virus was implicated in 8,042 deaths. The remaining ones were slated for stamping out.
The H5N1 virus reappeared in African poultry in 2015 after a several-year hiatus. Outbreaks have also been detected in Ghana and Ivory Coast, but Nigeria has been hit the hardest.
Feb 9 OIE report on Nigerian outbreaks