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Human infection with influenza A(H7N9) virus

On 1st April 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) notified countries of a novel influenza A(H7N9) virus in three seriously ill patients in China. This is the first time that human infection with influenza A(H7N9) virus has been identified.

Since that time more cases have been identified and over time, further cases may occur. For up to date information on current case numbers see WHO, and the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC).

No epidemiological link has been identified among cases to date. There is currently no evidence of ongoing human to human transmission.

The source of these infections and the mode of transmission are yet to be determined.

There is no need to change travel plans for persons going to or coming from China because of the recent appearance of the novel avian influenza virus A(H7N9) in humans.

Because of the presence of the novel influenza viruses, other avian influenza and zoonotic infections in live bird and animal markets (so called "wet markets") in China, visitors to China and other countries in Asia are advised to avoid visiting these markets.

Visitors are advised to avoid direct contact with bird and animal droppings, untreated bird feathers and other animal and bird waste and follow the basic rules of hand hygiene which includes hand washing and the use of alcohol-based hand rubs. See bird flu leaflet for further advice.

Further information
WHO disease outbreak news
WHO Avian influenza A(H7N9) virus
WHO Frequently Asked Questions on human infection with influenza A(H7N9) virus
ECDC daily situation report
ECDC rapid risk assessment
HPSC Bird flu leaflet

22 April 2013
Health Protection Surveillance Centre, 25-27 Middle Gardiner St, Dublin 1, Ireland. t: +353 1 8765300 f: +353 1 8561299 e:hpsc@hse.ie
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