A particularly deadly strain of avian flu, currently found in China, has infected more people there this flu season than it has in any season since the virus was identified, a new report finds.
The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission reported 21 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including three deaths, from February 24 to March 2.
The 17 male and four female patients, aged from 10 to 77, had their onset from February 10 to 27. The cases were from Guangdong (six cases), Anhui (four cases), Jiangsu (three cases), two cases each in Guangxi and Jiangxi, and one case each in Hubei, Hunan, Shanghai and Zhejiang. Among them, 18 were known to have exposure to poultry or poultry markets.
Of note, according to the surveillance of the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, from February 22 to 28, among 855 environmental samples collected from 89 markets in various areas in Guangdong, 83 samples from 27 markets tested positive for H7 virus, i.e. about 30 per cent of the markets in Guangdong and 9.7 per cent of the samples were positive.
Through Feb. 27, the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) puts the total avian influenza A(H7N9) case count at 1,259 since it’s first appearance in humans in 2013.