Flu Scan for Mar 25, 2014

H7N9 in China
WHO flu update

China reports H7N9 case, more findings in poultry

China today reported one new H7N9 influenza case, which was confirmed in a 58-year-old man who lives in Guangdong province, according to a health department statement translated and posted by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board. The man is hospitalized in critical condition in a Guangzhou hospital.

His illness brings the outbreak's overall total to 401 cases, according to a case list kept by FluTrackers. The unofficial number of deaths remains at 121. The latest case bumps the number reported during the second wave of illnesses to 265, compared with 136 in the first.

In other developments, Chinese agriculture officials yesterday reported the latest results of H7N9 testing in birds, which revealed positive findings from two live bird markets and a commercial farm in Guangdong province, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Sampling was done as part of the national surveillance plan, and no clinical signs were seen in birds at the three locations.

The two markets that yielded positive tests are in two different districts of Guangzhou. In one market, two samples were obtained and one tested positive. Two susceptible birds were culled to control the spread of the virus. At the other location, one of 25 samples was positive for the H7N9 virus, and 370 birds were destroyed.

The commercial farm where six positive samples were found is in Doumen district of the southern coastal city of Zhuhai. About 80,000 birds were culled to stem the spread of the virus. The finding is notable because nearly all of the other H7N9 findings in Chinese poultry have been in birds from live markets. The farm appears to be the same one that sourced a batch of H7-infected chickens found at a Macau poultry quarantine facility on Mar 12.
Mar 25 FluTrackers thread
FluTrackers human H7N9 case list
Mar 24 OIE report


Flu season slows globally, with only type B showing increases

Influenza is on the decline globally with a few exceptions, particularly with regard to influenza B, according to an update from the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday covering the weeks of Feb 23 through Mar 8.

North America's flu season appears to be nearing its end, although there has been a small increase in influenza B detections, the agency said. Flu activity in Europe decreased in the southwestern and northern regions but increased in the east.

Eastern Asia is seeing declines in flu activity except for a slight increase in type B cases, the WHO said. Activity is stable in China but is elevated in Mongolia. Cases in tropical Asia are on the decline with the exception of Thailand, where the proportion of type B cases is increased and type A/H1N1 incidence remains elevated.

Western Asia and northern Africa are also experiencing increasing proportions of flu B cases, although activity in general is declining.

The WHO's report is based on data from 96 countries. About 75% of samples positive for influenza were type A, with the remainder type B. Of subtyped flu A samples, about 65% were the H1N1 strain and 35% were H3N2. The large majority (about 87%) of subtyped flu B samples were of the Yamagata lineage (87%) with the remainder the Victoria lineage.
Mar 24 WHO update

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