|Credit FAO - May 17th Update|
China's NHFPC has notified Hong Kong's CHP of 16 additional H7N9 cases - a 33% drop over last week's number - but also, apparently only covering a 5-day period (May 12th-17th).
For the third week in a row, Hebei leads the way with 6 new cases (making 18 over the past 3 weeks), followed by 2 from Shandong and 1 each from Beijing, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Hunan, Shaanxi and Sichuan.Onset dates range from April 29th to May 13th, males outnumber females 11 to 5, and the youngest case is 30 years of age. Noticeably missing is the case reported from Shanxi Province on Wednesday.
While subdued compared to the number of cases we were seeing a couple of months ago, May normally only sees a handful of cases (< 12) as China's winter epidemic winds down (see FAO chart above).
Just barely over halfway through May, and we've already seen more than triple that number.Today's report brings us very near 700 cases reported since October 2016, and within 100 about cases of doubling the combined total for the first four epidemics.
Even with the expected summer lull, with roughly 20 weeks left in this `5th Epidemic' year, that is milestone that increasingly seems plausible.
This from the HK CHP.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 19) is monitoring notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that 16 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including two deaths, were recorded from May 12 to 17, and strongly urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
The 11 male and five female patients, aged 30 to 84, had onset from April 29 to May 13, of whom six were from Hebei, two from Shandong and one each from Beijing, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Hunan, Shaanxi and Sichuan. Among them, 15 were known to have exposure to poultry, poultry markets or mobile stalls.
Travellers to the Mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchase of live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.
Travellers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if symptoms develop, and inform the doctor of their travel history for prompt diagnosis and treatment of potential diseases. It is essential to tell the doctor if they have seen any live poultry during travel, which may imply possible exposure to contaminated environments. This will enable the doctor to assess the possibility of avian influenza and arrange necessary investigations and appropriate treatment in a timely manner.
While local surveillance, prevention and control measures are in place, the CHP will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments.
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