The China National Health and Family Planning Commission reported today that 17 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including three deaths, were recorded from March 24 to 30.

The 14 male and three female patients, aged from 35 to 81, had their onset from March 6 to 24. The cases were six cases from Hunan, three cases each in Jiangsu and Guangxi, two cases each from Fujian and Guizhou, and one case in Zhejiang. Among them, 16 were known to have exposure to poultry or poultry markets.

Avian influenza is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks, according to the CHP.

Clinical presentation of avian influenza in humans includes eye infection (conjunctivitis), flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) or severe respiratory illness (e.g. chest infection). The incubation period ranges from 7 to 10 days. The more virulent forms can result in respiratory failure, multi-organ failure and even death.

Through Mar. 25, there has been 1347 human H7N9 avian influenza cases reported since 2013.