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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Avian Influenza (H7N9) (Human) in China

04 Apr 2013

On 31 March 2013, the China Health and Family Planning Commission notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of 3 confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9).

The cases were reported from Shanghai (2 cases) and Anhui province (one case). All 3 cases presented with respiratory tract infection with progression to severe pneumonia and breathing difficulties. All 3 cases have since died as a result.

On 3 April 2013, the Jiangsu province Health Department reported 4 confirmed human cases of avian influenza (H7N9) infection. Jiangsu province on the east coast of China borders with the north of Shanghai municipality and Anhui province where the first 3 human cases of H7N9 infections were reported earlier this week.

The 4 cases in Jiangsu province include: 3 females aged 32, 45 and 48 years and an 83-year-old male. Currently all cases are in critical condition in hospital. Only one of the female cases had direct contact with slaughtered poultry. Contact tracing has not identified any further suspected cases.

Advice for Travellers

Avian influenza virus (H7N9) infection is unusual in humans but appears to cause severe illness in those infected. Preventive measures are the same as those for highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1).