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J Chin Med Assoc. 2013 May;76(5):245-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcma.2013.04.003. Epub 2013 May 4.

An overview of the recent outbreaks of the avian-origin influenza A (H7N9) virus in the human.

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Department of Pediatrics, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


Since the first human infection with influenza A (H7N9) viruses have been identified in Shanghai on March 31, 2013, the latest variant of the avian flu virus has spread across four Chinese provinces recently. Human infections with avian influenza are rare and this is the first time that human infection with a low pathogenic avian influenza A virus has been associated with fatal outcome. To date (May 5(th), 2013), China had reported 128 confirmed H7N9 infections in human, among 27 died. Most reported cases have severe respiratory illness resulting in severe pneumonia and in some cases have died. No evidence of sustained human-to -humans at this time, however, there is one family cluster with two confirmed cases for which human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out. Recent evidence showed that the gene sequences of this novel H7N9 virus is primarily zoonotic and may be better adapted than other avian influenza viruses to infect human. Effective global infection control is urgently needed, and further surveillance and analyses should be undertaken to identify the source and mode of transmission of these viruses.

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