On 9 March 2015, the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission notified WHO of 59 new laboratory-confirmed cases (including 17 deaths) of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N9). The majority of these 59 cases (83%) reported exposure to live poultry or live poultry markets.
The cases were reported between 21 January to 25 February 2015, as listed below:
19 – 25 January: 5 cases
26 January – 1 February: 13 cases
2 – 8 February: 9 cases
9 – 15 February: 15 cases
16 – 22 February: 14 cases
24 – 25 February: 3 cases
Cases were reported from nine provinces: Anhui (4), Fujian (1), Guangdong (35), Guizhou (1), Hunan (2), Jiangsu (3), Jiangxi (1), Shanghai (1), and Zhejiang (11).
The Chinese government is continuing to take steps to strengthen surveillance, reinforce case management and medical treatment and inform and communicate risk with the public.
The WHO anticipates further sporadic human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9 infection are in affected and possibly neighbouring areas and that human cases who travel internationally from affected areas, may have their infection detected in another country during or after arrival. However, if this did occur, community level spread is considered unlikely as the virus does not appear to have the ability to transmit easily among humans.
Advice for Travellers
Travellers experiencing severe flu like symptoms within 10 days of returning from China, should contact their GP and inform them of their recent travel to China.