H7N9 sickens 13 more in China
Chinese authorities have reported 13 more H7N9 avian influenza cases, 3 of them fatal, in four different provinces, according to official sources today, including an avian flu report issued today by Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP).
The CHP's report listed 60 new cases from mainland China, but all except 12 have already been reported by provincial health authorities or the CHP, according to cross-referencing by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board that maintains a running case list. In addition, Guangdong province's health department today announced an additional case, in a 33-year-old man from Shantou who was diagnosed on Feb 8 and is hospitalized in critical condition.
The other 12 patients are all adults ages 49 to 76, and 11 are men. Though illness onsets weren't listed, all of the cases were reported to the CHP in February. Seven of the patients are from Jiangsu province, 4 are from Zhejiang province, and 1 is from Xinjiang province.
Among the three fatal cases, two were from Jiangsu province and one was from Xinjiang province. The 13 new cases reported today lift the global H7N9 total to 584 cases, according to the list maintained by FluTrackers.
Feb 10 FluTrackers thread on Guangdong case
Feb 10 FluTrackers thread on 12 new H7N9 cases
FluTrackers H7N9 case list
In other developments, Zhejiang province officials said today that they have reported 21 human H7N9 cases so far this winter, according to a report from Xinhua, China's state news agency.
For comparison, officials said the province reported nearly 100 cases last winter. They added that none of the infections this winter have been in urban areas, where live-poultry markets have been closed, a factor that may be limiting the spread of the disease.
Feb 10 Xinhua story
China reports fatal H5N6 infection
Chinese health officials have reported a third human infection with H5N6 avian influenza, in a 44-year-old man that proved fatal, according to a Hong Kong CHP statement yesterday.
The man was from Yunnan province, located in the far southwestern part of China. He got sick on Jan 27 and was hospitalized the same day. He died on Feb 6. An investigation found that he had been exposed to poultry before he became ill.
Of the three known H5N6 cases in humans, two have proved fatal. The first was detected last May in Sichuan province, and the second in late December in Guangdong province.
A handful of H5N6 outbreaks have also been reported recently in poultry, including one earlier this month in China's Hunan province. Vietnam and Laos have also reported outbreaks over the past year. In November the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the H5N6 virus emerged in China in late May, and it identified more than 3,400 outbreaks in poultry in China, Laos, and Vietnam.
Feb 9 CHP statement
Nov 14, 2014, CIDRAP News scan "FAO: H5N6 poses emerging threat to poultry in eastern Asia"
H5N1 virus in British Columbia poultry may match Washington strain
Preliminary findings suggest that the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus found recently in backyard poultry in British Columbia matches an H5N1 virus that surfaced in Washington state in January, according to Canadian officials.
The virus sickened all 94 chickens in a backyard flock in Chilliwack, B.C., and killed 81 of them, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said in a report filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on Feb 7. The other 13 chickens were destroyed.
"Based on the limited partial sequence of the H5 and N1 gene segments obtained this far, it appears very likely that this is the same or a very similar virus to the recent reassortant H5N1 virus in Washington State, but more sequencing will be needed to make a final conclusion," the OIE report said.
An H5N1 virus found in a green-winged teal in Whatcom County, Wash., marked the first detection of a highly pathogenic H5N1 strain in the United States, according to an OIE report posted Jan 20.
The Canadian report also said the H5 component of the H5N1 virus found in Chilliwack is very similar to the H5 component of an H5N2 virus that caused outbreaks on several poultry farms in the same area in December.
The report emphasizes that the H5N1 virus differs from the highly pathogenic H5N1 circulating and causing sporadic human cases in Egypt and parts of Asia, adding that the N1 component comes from North American wild birds.
Feb 7 OIE report
Related Feb 9 CIDRAP News item
Related Jan 21 CIDRAP News story