Ten new H7N9 cases push outbreak total past 300

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lisa Schnirring
Feb 04, 2014

Ten new H7N9 influenza cases, along with three deaths, were reported from five China provinces today, vaulting the outbreak case total over the 300 mark after less than a year of disease activity.

All of the new lab-confirmed cases involve adults, except for one, a 4-year-old girl from Guangdong province. Seven of the 10 patients are men.

The second wave of cases, which began in October but rapidly increased last month, reached 165 with the new reports, compared with last spring’s total of 136.

The infections boost the 2013-14 outbreak total to 301 cases, according to a running tally compiled by the FluTrackers infectious disease news message board. That total in less than a year appears to be unprecedented for human cases of avian flu. By comparison, the most active calendar year for the H5N1 strain, in 2006, saw 115 cases, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The three newly reported deaths lift the unofficial fatality count to 67.

Second wave’s southerly hot spots
Eight of today’s cases were reported from Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces, and the brisk pace of cases from those more southern provinces is driving most of the H7N9 activity in the second wave of infections. Of the 165 cases reported in the second wave, 125 have been reported from those two provinces: 73 from Zhejiang and 52 from Guangdong (see table below).

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