H7N9 cases grow by 7, along with China poultry industry outcry

Friday, February 7, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lisa Schnirring
CIDRAP News
Feb 06, 2014

China reported seven more H7N9 influenza cases today, including the second one this year from Beijing, amid media reports that the country’s poultry-farming groups have asked local authorities to tamp down their case reporting to minimize financial losses to the industry.

The seven new cases add to a brisk momentum of infections that has lifted the number of people infected in the second wave well above the first one last spring. So far 181 cases have been reported in the second wave, compared with 136 in the first.

Seven cases from Beijing, four provinces
Aside from Beijing, areas reporting fresh cases include Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Guangdong, and Hunan provinces, according to health ministry reports picked up, translated, and posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog, and FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board. The lion’s share of cases in the second wave have been reported from Zhejiang and Guangdong, which between them account for 136 of the 181 second-wave infections.

Beijing, located hundreds of miles north of the main outbreak area, reported that a 73-year-old man who works as a chicken farmer is hospitalized in critical condition with an H7N9 infection, according to a report today from Xinhua, China’s state news agency. The report said he had raised, traded, and slaughtered live poultry before he started having symptoms and sought treatment on Jan 30. Tests confirmed his H7N9 infection yesterday.

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