7 April 2013 - As of 7 April 2013 (16:30 CET), the Chinese health authorities notified WHO of an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with influenza A(H7N9) virus.
The first patient is a 59-year-old man resident of Shanghai,
who became ill on 25 March 2013, and is now in critical condition. The
second patient is a 55-year-old man from Anhui who became ill on 28
March 2013, and is now in stable condition. The third patient is a
67-year-old man from Shanghai who became ill on 29 March 2013, and is
considered a mild case.
To date, a total of 21 cases have been laboratory confirmed
with influenza A(H7N9) virus in China, including six deaths, 12 severe
cases and three mild cases.
More than 530 close contacts of the confirmed cases are being
closely monitored. In Jiangsu, investigation is ongoing into a contact
of an earlier confirmed case who developed symptoms of illness.
The Chinese government is actively investigating this event
and has heightened disease surveillance. Retrospective testing of
recently reported cases with severe respiratory infection may uncover
additional cases that were previously unrecognized. An inter-government
task force has been formally established, with the National Health and
Family Planning Commission leading the coordination along with the
Ministry of Agriculture and other key ministries. The animal health
sector has intensified investigations into the possible sources and
reservoirs of the virus.
WHO is in contact with national authorities and is following
the event closely. The WHO-coordinated international response is also
focusing on work with WHO Collaborating Centres for Reference and
Research on Influenza and other partners to ensure that information is
available and that materials are developed for diagnosis and treatment
and vaccine development. No vaccine is currently available for this
subtype of the influenza virus. Preliminary test results provided by the
WHO Collaborating Centre in China suggest that the virus is susceptible
to the neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir).
At this time there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission.
WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with
regard to this event, nor does it recommend that any travel or trade
restrictions be applied.