Flu Scan for Feb 03, 2014

H5N1 cases in Vietnam, China
H7N9, H5N1, and H1N1 comparison

Vietnam, China report H5N1 cases

Vietnam and China have each confirmed a case of H5N1 avian flu in recent days, with Vietnam's case proving fatal.

In Vietnam, a 60-year-old woman in Dong Thap province in the Mekong Delta died of the deadly virus on Jan 27, Than Nien News reported yesterday. The woman developed a fever and other symptoms on Jan 22, authorities said. She was hospitalized on Jan 23 in neighboring An Gian province on Jan 23, where she died.

The Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City confirmed H5N1 avian flu on Jan 29. The case is the second in Vietnam this year; a 52-year-old man from Binh Phuoc province died of H5N1 on Jan 18.

Vietnam has the third-highest number of confirmed H5N1 cases in the world, at 125, behind Indonesia and Egypt, according to the World Health Organization's latest count, published Jan 24. If the WHO confirms this case, however, the country will tie Egypt for the second-most fatalities, at 63.
Feb 2 Than Nien News story
Jan 21 CIDRAP News scan on previous case
Jan 24 WHO global H5N1 case count

Meanwhile, a 75-year-old man has contracted H5N1 avian flu in China, according to machine-translated local news stories posted recently on the H5N1 and Avian Flu Diary blogs.

The man, from Guangxi province in southern China, which borders Vietnam, was hospitalized on Jan 27 with acute respiratory illness, and officials confirmed H5N1 influenza on Feb 1.

His case is the province's first since 2009, the news reports said. China reported 2 cases last year, both fatal, and has confirmed 45 since 2003, 30 of which have been fatal, according to WHO data.

If both the Vietnamese and Chinese H5N1 cases are confirmed by the WHO, they will raise the global total to 652 cases and 387 deaths.
Feb 2 H5N1 blog post
Feb 1 Avian Flu Diary blog post


Study: H7N9 patients much older than H5N1, H1N1 patients

An international team that compared patients hospitalized with H7N9 avian flu, H5N1, or 2009 H1N1 flu found that H7N9 patients were much older and much more likely to be male, according to a new study in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The study also found that heart disease was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization with H7N9 flu.

The researchers analyzed data from 123 H7N9 patients hospitalized last spring, 119 H5N1 patients from China and Vietnam, and 3,486 patients in China who had 2009 H1N1.

They noted that the median age of H7N9 patients was 63 years, compared with 26 for H5N1 and 25 for 2009 H1N1. The proportion of male H7N9 patients was 71%, compared with 56% for both H5N1 and 2009 H1N1 patients.

The authors also noted marked differences in clinical presentation among the three groups, with H7N9 patients having the highest prevalence of chronic medical conditions traditionally associated with severe cases of seasonal flu. They also found an almost 10-fold increased risk for being hospitalized with H7N9 in patients with chronic heart disease.

The group speculated that the significantly higher median age in H7N9 patients might be associated with increased environmental exposure or because elderly people may have a greater propensity to become infected or severely ill following virus exposure.
Jan 31 Clin Infect Dis abstract

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