Influenza H7N9: China

The first human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) have been reported in China.  According to the Center for Disease Control in China there have now been 16 confirmed cases of the infection including 6 deaths.  The infection has been reported from the provinces of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, and Zhejiang.

These cases were likely caused as a result of contact with poultry in a previously unrecognized outbreak.

Symptoms include: fever, shortness of breath and cough. Infection with the virus can lead to severe respiratory illness which can result in death.  The source of the infections are currently being investigated.

There are currently no recommendations against travel to China but travelers should be aware of good hygiene practices, food safety and to avoid contact with animals.  There is no vaccine to prevent H7N9.

Travellers should avoid markets (especially where there are poultry) and birds or farms with animals.

*If you become ill during or after travel to China, seek medical attention.  Tell your heath care provider that you have just returned from travel to China.*

 

 

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