THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

ECDC issues risk assessment for avian flu in China

The ECDC issued a risk assessment on Wednesday summarizing the latest information about human infections with avian influenza A viruses in China.

The report assessed risk to public health in the EU and European Economic Area countries, and found that the most immediate threat of avian influenza A H7N9 to citizens of the European Union is to individuals living in or visiting China.

According to the ECDC, the severe nature of human infections and the persistence of avian influenzas A H7N9 and A H5N1 in poultry remains a significant long-term threat to humans either through developing pandemic capacity or through zoonotic transmission. However, it is much more likely that the outbreaks will remain zoonotic outbreaks in China in which the virus is sporadically transmitted to humans in close contact with infected animals.

While travel-related cases could be detected in Europe, as they were in Canada and Malaysia, the ECDC said sporadic cases of that nature would not change the agency's current risk assessment. The ECDC also said there was no indication of sustained human-to-human transmission.

The ECDC advised individuals living in China or visiting the country to avoid live bird markets and contact with live poultry in China.