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H7N9 total declines to single case

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arirish View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 08 2017 at 12:51pm
China's weekly H7N9 total declines to single case

China reported just one H7N9 avian influenza case this week, down sharply from six reported the previous week, Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) said today in its weekly update.

The patient is a 35-year-old man from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of the country who began having symptoms on Jun 23 and died on Jun 30. An investigation into the source of his exposure to the virus found that he had sold and slaughtered chickens at a market.

Xinjiang has reported a few H7N9 cases in the past, but not in the recent wave of activity, which has been marked by a wide geographic spread of detections in poultry and in people.

China has had more than 750 cases in the fifth and largest wave of infections, at least 209 of them fatal.
Jul 7 CHP update

In other H7N9 developments, Chinese researchers who compared recent human infections with highly and low-pathogenic H7N9 in Guangdong province found that clinical outcomes were similar, though people sickened by the highly pathogenic form had longer hospitalizations. The team reported their findings yesterday in the latest issue of Eurosurveillance.

Their analysis included 9 patients infected with highly pathogenic H7N9 and 51 who had been sickened by the low-pathogenic strain.

Researchers also assessed poultry market environmental surveillance, finding that the touching of sick or dead poultry was the most important risk factor for contracting highly pathogenic H7N9, hinting that because that form of the virus disseminates to multiple organs, including muscle, handling sick birds could be more risky. Raising backyard poultry and touching live poultry were also risk factors.

They concluded that it's still not possible to tell if highly pathogenic H7N9 causes more severe disease in humans, but detailed investigations about shedding, virus dissemination, and inflammation levels are needed to shed more light. They also noted that investigation of the impact of the virus on chickens is urgently needed.
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