More than 40 human H7N9 flu cases confirmed in China this year

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that it was notified of more than 40 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A H7N9 virus in China since January 1.

Between January 10 and January 17, China reported 31 cases of H7N9 infections among humans, including three deaths. There were 12 cases reported in the Zhejiang province, 10 cases in the Guangdong province, four cases in the Fujian province, three cases in the Shanghai province and one case each in the Guizhou and Jiangsu provinces.

Among the reported cases, the median age was 48 years, with a range between 20 and 79 years of age. There was a male to female ratio of 2.1 to one.

The WHO said there was no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus and did not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to the event.

The organization said it expects to continue to see sporadic cases of H7N9 in humans. It said that given the population movement before the Lunar New Year and the potentially unpredictable behavior of flu viruses, affected provinces and municipalities must employ continued vigilance and close monitoring.

The WHO said it will continue to work closely with national authorities and technical partners to understand the disease better. It will provide more information on the disease as the situation continues to evolve.