[editing in bold below is mine]
Date: 11 Aug 2013
Source: WHO Global Alert and Response, virus update [edited]
The National Health and Family Planning Commission, China notified WHO of a new laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. This is the 1st new confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus since 20 Jul 2013. The patient is a 51-year-old woman from Huizhou, Guangdong Province. She became ill on 27 Jul 2013, was admitted to a local hospital on 28 Jul 2013 and transferred to a hospital in Huizhou City on 3 Aug 2013. She is currently in critical condition. Laboratory testing conducted by Guangdong Provincial Centre for Disease Control on 9 Aug 2013 was positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infection and was confirmed by the Beijing Municipal Center for Disease Control (CDC) on 10 Aug 2013.
To date, WHO has been informed of a total of 135 laboratory-confirmed human cases with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus including 44 deaths. Currently, 4 cases are hospitalised, and 87 have been discharged. There is no evidence of sustained human to human transmission.
The Chinese government continues to take strict monitoring, prevention and control measures, including strengthening of epidemic surveillance and analysis, deployment of medical treatment, conducting public risk communication and information dissemination, strengthening international cooperation and exchanges, and is continuing to carry out scientific research.
WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions.
Date: Sun 11 Aug 2013
Source: South China Morning Post via Agence France-Presse [edited]
A poultry worker was confirmed as having contracted the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus, health officials said, the 1st case in the southern Guangdong province as nearby Hong Kong remained on alert. The 51-year-old woman is in critical condition after she was admitted to hospital on 3 Aug 2013 following signs of a fever, the Guangdong Provincial Health Department said on Sat 10 Aug 2013. "She was a poultry slaughtering worker at a local marketplace," the local health bureau said in a statement on its website.
A total of 134 cases have now been reported on the Chinese mainland, including the Guangdong case. A Hong Kong government spokesman said on Sunday [11 Aug 2013] that it was closely monitoring the virus for any developments. Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection controller Dr Leung Ting-hung has said earlier that the city might see its 1st infection in the next few months if the Guangdong case was confirmed. "After all, cross-border activities are so frequent; we should be prepared for that. We should be mindful of the situation, as Guangdong is adjacent to Hong Kong," Leung said. "We are also paying attention to whether the virus has been changing or has the ability to spread from human to human."
State news agency Xinhua said on Saturday [10 Aug 2013] that 44 people had died of the disease, which includes a recent fatality following the release of the latest official figures a month ago. The virus was 1st reported in late March 2013, with most cases confined to eastern China, and only one reported outside the mainland, in Taiwan.
Scientists reported last week the 1st likely case of direct person-to-person transmission of the H7N9. However, they told people not to panic, as the virus's transmissibility remained limited and non-sustainable. Local health authorities on Saturday [10 Aug 2013 lifted medical observations on 54 of 96 people who were placed under monitoring after they had close contact with the Guangdong patient, Xinhua said.
The patient had worked in markets in Boluo, which is about 129 km east of the provincial capital Guangzhou. Many of those infected with the virus had direct contact with birds, commonly at poultry markets, which have been closed by officials across China to halt the spread of the disease.
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Kunihiko Iizuka
and Ryan McGinnis
[These reports confirm the diagnosis of AH7N9 virus infection in the recent case in Guangdong province and add the relevant information that the patient was employed as a poultry worker. She had been employed as a poultry slaughtering worker at a local marketplace and had worked in markets in Boluo, which is about 129 km east of the provincial capital Guangzhou.
It is likely that the patient had contracted infection directly from poultry in the course of her employment and had not contracted infection from another person. Likewise, she has so far not transmitted her infection directly to any of her contacts.
It is likely that the H7N9 avian influenza virus has not been eradicated entirely from commercial poultry, and human infections may still occur from this source. With the onset of autumn and conditions favouring transmission of influenza viruses, more cases can be expected. - Mod.CP