Friday, February 16, 2018

The `Fog Of Flu' On Novel H7N4


Two days ago, in Jiangsu China Reports 1st Novel H7N4 Human Infection, we learned of the first known human infection with a novel H7N4 virus via information provided to Hong Kong's CHP from Mainland China

While not available at the time - since then China's NHFPC has posted a short (translated) statement (see below) on their website.   

National Health and Family Planning Commission confirmed case of human infection of H7N4 cases

Published: 2018-02-14
National Health and Family Planning Commission February 13, 2018 confirmed case of human infection of H7N4 avian influenza (referred to cases of human infection with H7N4).

Tang patient, female, 68 years old, live in Liyang City, Jiangsu Province, has a history of contact with live poultry before the onset. Onset December 25, 2017, after a "severe pneumonia" hospitalization, January 22, 2018 cured. Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control samples tested H7N4 positive patients with viral nucleic acid, and confirmed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control review. National Health and Family Planning Commission experts, combined with clinical manifestations, epidemiological investigation and laboratory test results, diagnose cases of human infection of H7N4.

HEALTH health department in accordance with the relevant plans and technical solutions for effective treatment of cases, epidemiological investigation, the close contacts and epidemic emergency management disposal. 28 cases of close contacts found no abnormalities, medical observation has been lifted.

Experts suggest that the public in their daily lives should avoid contact with sick or dead poultry, try to avoid direct contact with live poultry. History of contact with poultry and have fever and respiratory symptoms, should be approaching medical institutions for treatment, and the initiative to inform poultry exposure history to the doctor.
Although there have been copious media reports over the past two days, all of them appear to be based on this statement and the announcement from Hong Kong's CHP.
Surprisingly, we've really learned nothing new in the past 48 hours.
I say `surprisingly', because five years ago - within the first 48 hours after the first H7N9 cases were announced (see China: Two Deaths From H7N9 Avian Flu) - we were flooded with updates from a variety of official sources, including:
WHO: Update On H7N9 Virus 

Hong Kong: SFH On H7N9

More Details Emerge On Shanghai H7N9 Case 
Just a little more than 48 hours after the first announcement we were already getting preliminary information about this this novel flu's sequences.
Nature: Declan Butler On The H7N9 Virus Sequences
Webby On H7N9: `Clear Evidence Of Mammalian Adaptation’

Of course, the difference in 2013 was there were multiple cases reported in Shanghai and Anhui province, lending a greater degree of urgency to those reports.  With H7N4, we only have one case (so far)

While I'm hopeful we'll get some information on the genetic sequences of this novel virus over the next few days, with the Lunar New Year celebrations in full swing across Asia, I'm not terribly optimistic that we will hear much until next week.

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