Monday, April 15, 2013

Biological Alert - Reported H7N9 cases rise to 60 - 4 yr old Infected Symptom Free



Health officials in China say the threat of a bird flu pandemic is "increasing" after one case of infection from the virus showed no symptoms.
Bloomberg reports that a 4-year-old boy in Beijing who caught the H7N9 avian influenza virus, which is transmitted to humans through infected poultry, exhibited no indications that he had the infection. The young boy was reportedly connected to the 7-year-old Beijing girl who became the first case of the new bird flu in China's capital. The boy's infection was detected when authorities carried out contact tracing - the process of testing close relatives and friends who were exposed to someone with the virus - to test 24 people who came in contact with the 7-year-old girl in Beijing, according to Bloomberg.




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China bird flu: Reported H7N9 cases rise to 60

Chinese men stand guard in front of the house of a seven-year-old H7N9 bird flu patient in Gucheng village on the outskirts of Beijing  
The capital Beijing reported its first case on Saturday, a seven-year-old girl

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China has reported 11 fresh cases of bird flu, with the virus now appearing in the central province of Henan and the capital Beijing.
The new cases of the H7N9 strain bring the total number of reported cases to 60. Two more people have now died.
Authorities believe the virus is being spread through direct contact with infected poultry.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said there was no evidence yet of human-to-human transmission.
Michael O'Leary, the WHO's representative in China, said cases did not appear to be connected.
"There's no way to predict how it will spread but it's not surprising if we have new cases in different places like we do in Beijing," he told reporters.
On Saturday a seven-year-old girl became Beijing's first confirmed case of the H7N9 strain.
Two cases were reported in the central Henan province, while the others were seen in and around Shanghai, where the virus first appeared in February.
Two new deaths announced on Sunday were also in Shanghai, bringing the total number of dead to 13.
There are no reported cases outside the country, according to the WHO.
Nineteen people who had close contact with the two new victims in Henan had shown no signs of infection, China's state news agency Xinhua said.
International health experts have commended China on its transparency in reporting the spread of the virus, in sharp contrast to its handling of a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2003, when 8,096 people were infected worldwide and 744 died.

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