WHO reports two new human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) in China

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that two new cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) have been confirmed in China.

The cases were confirmed by the Centre for Health Protection and the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China.

One patient is a woman 85 years of age from Hong Kong. She became sick on April 11 and was admitted to the hospital on April 13. Investigation revealed she visited Dongguan, Guangdong Province, where she stayed with family who raised chickens and helped slaughter them. She is in critical condition.

A man 52 years of age from Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, became sick on April 10 and was admitted to the hospital on April 13. He remains in severe condition.

WHO said the Chinese government is continuing investigations.

The government has increased surveillance and control measures, including situation analysis, case management and treatment and risk communication with the public.

The WHO's overall risk has not changed, but the virus has potential to continue spreading as live poultry is transported through the country. There is no indication the virus will spread internationally until the virus has adapted itself for easier human-to-human transmission.

WHO advised travelers to avoid poultry markets and farms, including where poultry is slaughtered, and practice good hygiene.