China reports 15 new cases of avian flu

The Family Planning Commission of China reported to the World Health Organization on Wednesday that 15 new cases of avian influenza A, or H7N9, have been confirmed.

The cases range from 31 to 81 years of age, with 10 male and 5 female cases reported from the Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang Provinces. Thirteen cases are in critical or serious condition, and 14 reported exposure to poultry or a live poultry market or environment.

WHO said that no human-to-human infection has been sustained.

The Chinese government said it will continued to strengthen surveillance and analysis, reinforce treatment, conduct risk communication, strengthen international collaboration and conduct scientific studies.

WHO said that even though the avian influenza A virus has been detected in live poultry imported to Hong Kong SAR and has the potential to spread through live poultry, there is no indication of international spread of the virus through humans or animals.

The agencies are expecting more human cases of the virus in neighboring areas because of the expected increase in trade and transport of poultry associated with the Lunar New Year celebrations.

WHO said people traveling to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza should avoid poultry farms and live bird markets, including areas where birds are slaughtered