The Health and Family Planning Commission of Anhui Province is reporting a human case of of avian influenza A(H7N9). Health officials note the patient is a 45-year-old man who lives in Xuancheng. He had recent history of contact with poultry and is currently in critical condition.

This is the 31st case reported in Anhui Province since 2013 and the first case reported in the province in the past six months.

From 2013 to date, 736 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities. In addition, 22 cases imported from China have been reported in Canada (2), Hong Kong (15), Malaysia (1) and Taiwan (4).

Avian influenza (AI) is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. These AI viruses are distinct from human seasonal influenza viruses. Since the AI viruses does not commonly infect human, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population. People mainly become infected with AI through direct contact with infected birds and poultry (live or dead), their droppings or contaminated environments.