10 more confirmed cases of H7N9 virus in China
The World Health Organization has reported 10 more confirmed cases of influenza A(H7N9) in China, bringing the number of cases to 38. There have been 10 deaths.
The novel influenza strain has affected people across all age groups from the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai and Anhui. There has been no evidence of human-to-human transmission, but more than 760 close contacts of the confirmed cases are being monitored, according to the WHO report.
According to the CDC, there has been no incidence of influenza A(H7N9) in the United States; however, it advises clinicians to consider the possibility of novel influenza A(H7N9) virus infection in those with respiratory illness and an appropriate travel or exposure history. The clinical presentation of human infection with avian influenza A viruses ranges from mild illness, including conjunctivitis, fever and cough, to severe illness, including fulminant pneumonia.
WHO has not recommended any travel restrictions, nor does it advise special screening at points of entry. There is no vaccine available for this subtype, but data suggest that the virus is susceptible to oseltamivir (Tamiflu, Genentech) and zanamivir (Relenza, GlaxoSmithKline).