China reports H7N9-H3N2 coinfection, more deaths

Saturday, July 6, 2013
By Paul Martin

Jul 05, 2013

Chinese health officials reported another infection with the novel H7N9 virus, a 15-year-old boy who was sick in April with a seasonal H3N2 influenza coinfection and has since recovered, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday.

The boy, from Jiangsu province, got sick on Apr 25 and was hospitalized the next day. He recovered and was discharged on May 2. Molecular testing showed the boy was positive for H3N2 and the new H7N9 virus, according to the WHO, which received the information on the new case from China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Jiangsu health officials consulted with national and other provincial experts about the case on Jul 1.

Details of the boy’s case are consistent with an H7N9-H3N2 coinfection case reported by Chinese researchers in the Jun 15 issue of The Lancet. The team wrote that he was a previously healthy student who was treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in the hospital.

They also noted that dual infections are a possible source of reassortment between human and avian flu virus strains

The boy’s illness raises the outbreak total to 133 confirmed cases. All are from China except one case in a Taiwanese man who had traveled to China’s outbreak area for work.

The WHO also said it has been informed that there are 43 deaths from the disease, which is 8 more than the group last reported on May 29. That total likely includes a man from Shanghai whose death was reported by the media on Jun 26.

Some of the severely ill patients have been hospitalized for several weeks, and the rise in the fatality number may suggest that some of them have died.

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