April 3, 2013
On 31 March 2013, the Chinese authorities announced the identification of a novel influenza A virus, A(H7H9), in three seriously ill people from two provinces presenting with respiratory infections. So far, no epidemiological link has been identified between those three patients. When testing for the influenza virus, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention identified genes from both A(H7N9) and A(H9N2) viruses, thus indicating a novel reassortant avian influenza A virus. In its initial assessment of the situation, the ECDC rapid risk assessment concludes that the risk of the spread of the virus in Europe can be considered low at this stage.