Three more H7N9 cases; poultry tests yield fresh clues

Friday, February 28, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lisa Schnirring
Feb 27, 2014

Continuing its steady trickle of H7N9 cases, China reported three more today, as new research findings implicated chickens as the main source of the virus and emphasized the importance oropharyngeal swabs for testing birds.

Human cases in the outbreak’s second wave continue to taper, with sporadic cases mainly reported from recent hot spots, as well as other provinces that reported earlier cases.

New cases in Hunan, Jiangsu provinces
Two of the new case-patients are from Hunan province, a 77-year-old man and a 41-year-old man who are hospitalized, according to a provincial health department statement translated and posted by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.

The third case-patient is from Jiangsu province, a 42-year-old man who apparently bought chickens at a local market and is hospitalized in serious condition, according to a provincial notice flagged by FluTrackers.

Today’s new cases boost the overall outbreak total to 376 infections, with the number of deaths holding steady at 114. So far 240 H7N9 illnesses have been confirmed in the second wave that’s currently under way, compared with 136 recorded last spring during the first wave.

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