Two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported on Mainland China.
The Health and Family Planning Commission of Sichuan Province reported that a 60-year old male patient from Pengxi County and a 48-year-old female patient from Zhongjiang County are now in critical condition.
“According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 90 per cent of the patients reported exposure to live poultry, mostly with exposure to live poultry markets (LPMs). There was also an increase in environmental contamination with H7N9 virus as reflected by the positive rate of environmental samples collected from LPMs or other live poultry-related environments in affected provinces,” Hong Kong health officials said.
In view of the current situation, there is a likely risk that environments with live poultry in the Mainland might be contaminated with avian influenza viruses. Travellers to the Mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, poultry markets or farms. They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchase of live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.