Health officials in China have reported a total of six human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Tianjin, Beijing, Hebei and Jiangsu.
According to the Tianjin Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, two patients from Langfang (Hebei) and Binhai New Area (Tianjin) were hospitalized for management of severe pneumonia. Both had contact with poultry but were not epidemiologically linked. These are the first two human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Tianjin.
The Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning reported an additional case affecting a female farmer aged 68 from Langfang (Hebei). She had no poultry exposure and was hospitalized for isolation and management in critical condition.
In addition, three cases were notified by the National Health and Family Planning Commission. The case in Hebei affects a male farmer aged 57 from Shijiazhuang who was in serious condition. The two cases in Jiangsu affect a male farmer aged 45 from Changzhou working in a market with poultry, and a woman aged 53 from Huai’an with live poultry contact. Both were in serious condition.
“H7N9 has become enzootic in poultry in the Mainland. From January 2015 to April 2016, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, poultry and environmental samples collected from markets in Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Shanghai and Zhejiang tested positive for H7N9. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations revealed that positive samples in the Mainland were mainly taken from live bird markets, vendors and some commercial or breeding farms,” Said a spokesman for the Hong Kong CHP.
“In view of additional human cases reported in the Mainland in warmer months as well as the recent local positive sample of fecal droppings of live poultry, the public should remain vigilant. Travelers to the Mainland and other avian influenza-affected areas in the upcoming summer vacation should not visit poultry markets, and should avoid contact with poultry and their droppings,” the spokesman added.
From 2013 to date, 766 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities, while since October 2015 to date, 109 have been recorded.