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What A Week! 16 Cases, 6 Deaths from H7N9 In China – 20K Birds Killed in Shanghai – WHO Says Pandemic Potential Is Unknown

April 5, 2013

I woke up early this morning in the California and quickly read through the major news feeds and Twitter postings to figure out what went on while I was asleep. The H7N9 has been isolated in a poultry market in Shanghai on Friday leading Chinese authorities to slaughter over 20,000 birds.

The Shanghai local government reported that the Huhuai market for live birds had been shut down and 20,536 birds had been culled after authorities detected the H7N9 virus from samples of pigeons in the market. All live poultry markets have also been closed in the city.

The Shanghai local government reported that the Huhuai market for live birds had been shut down and 20,536 birds had been culled after authorities detected the H7N9 virus from samples of pigeons in the market. All live poultry markets have also been closed in the city.

Shanghai authorities stressed the H7N9 virus remained sensitive to the drug Tamiflu and those who were diagnosed early could be cured.

Health Map (http://www.healthmap.org/en/) is reporting this morning that there are now 16 cases of the H7N9 bird flu strain in eastern China and at least four of the dead are in Shanghai.  This has already today impact travel companies stock prices such airlines and hotels in Asia.

Health Map (http://www.healthmap.org/en/) is reporting this morning that there are now 16 cases of the H7N9 bird flu strain in eastern China and at least four of the dead are in Shanghai. This has already today impact travel companies stock prices such airlines and hotels in Asia.

The virus has been shared with World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centers in Atlanta, Beijing, London, Melbourne and Tokyo, and these groups are analyzing samples to identify the best candidate to be used for the manufacture of vaccine – if it becomes necessary.

The World Health Organization announced on 4 April there was no sign of “sustained human-to-human transmission” of the H7N9 virus in China, but it was important to check on 400 people who had been in close contact with the 14 confirmed cases.

The 3 April WHO FAQ document on the H7N9 virus answers the question about whether this virus could produce a global pandemic as follows: Any animal influenza virus that develops the ability to infect people is a theoretical risk to cause a pandemic. However, whether the influenza A(H7N9) virus could actually cause a pandemic is unknown. Other animal influenza viruses that have been found to occasionally infect people have not gone on to cause a pandemic.

http://www.who.int/influenza/human_animal_interface/faq_H7N9/en/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/05/us-birdflu-china-idUSBRE93201G20130405

http://english.cri.cn/6909/2013/04/05/2702s757836.htm

http://www.healthmap.org/en/

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