These cases push the global total to 622 since 2013, according to a case list maintained by FluTrackers.
Details of the case are as follows: a 61-year-old man from Hong Kong SAR developed symptoms on 16 February, consulted a private doctor on the same day and was admitted to hospital on 20 February. He had travelled to Zhangmutou, Dongguan, Guangdong, from 6 to 8 February and from 14 to 15 February. He visited a wet market on 14 February and bought two slaughtered chickens. Based on the available information, it is considered that the patient was infected outside Hong Kong. Xinhua reports that the patient died on 1 March, the first H7N9-related death in Hong Kong.
These cases bring the total since 2013 to 616, according to FluTrackers. Guangdong province has seen more cases of H7N9 flu than any other, with Zhejiang province running a close second and 14 others reporting cases as well.
Since H5 was first detected in Washington state in December 2014, HPAI H5N2, H5N8, and a new H5N1 reassortant have been identified in California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Nevada, the CDC said.
The agency added, however, "The risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in US birds and poultry is believed to be low at this time because these viruses do not normally infect humans easily, and even if a person is infected, the viruses do not spread easily to other people.
"Because avian influenza A viruses have the potential to change and gain the ability to spread easily among people, monitoring for human infection and person-to-person transmission is extremely important for public health."
Researchers from the CDC and Bangladesh analyzed blood samples from 404 Bangladeshi workers in live-poultry markets in which both hand washing after poultry handling and use of personal protective equipment were low. Nine of the workers (2%) were seropositive at baseline.
Of the 284 workers who completed the study and were seronegative at baseline, 6 (2%) seroconverted, for a rate of seven cases per 100 poultry worker–years. The team also determined that workers who frequently fed poultry, cleaned faeces from pens, cleaned food or water containers and did not wash hands after touching sick poultry had a 7.6 times higher risk of infection than workers who infrequently engaged in these activities.
The authors concluded: "The risk behaviors identified in our study may help public health officials explore interventions to interrupt poultry-to-human transmission of H5N1 virus and other avian influenza A viruses among the poultry workers."
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that China has reported 148 human H7N9 cases between 24 September 2014 and 23 February, which is close to the 153 cases FluTrackers has registered during the same time period. According to FluTrackers, the new infection lifts the global total to 614.
The new cases bring the global H7N9 total to 613, according to FluTrackers.
Researchers found that H9N2 infections were detected mainly in China, Hong Kong and Bangladesh although infection has also been detected in other Asian regions, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The virus has an almost global distribution in domestic poultry.
H9N2 infection in people generally causes mild or asymptomatic disease, and the study said that surveillance efforts are likely missing infections in people exposed regularly to birds.
This novel HPAI EA/AM H5N1-reassortant virus has not been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the US.
The three new cases lift the global H7N9 total to 611, according to FluTrackers.
Egypt has now confirmed 69 cases this year, according to a list maintained by FluTrackers. In all of 2014, Egypt reported 30 H5N1 cases to the WHO. The previous high was in 2006, when Egypt had 55 WHO-confirmed cases.
FluTrackers' case listing shows 69 cases of H5N1 in Egypt since 1 January, with 19 deaths. These follow 25 cases with 14 deaths during December 2014.
FluTrackers, which keeps a list of H7N9 cases, shows a total of 608.
(aka bird flu, avian flu) is caused by a type of influenza virus that is hosted by birds, but may infect several species of mammals. It was first identified in Italy in the early 1900s and is now known to exist worldwide. A strain of the H5N1-type of avian influenza virus that emerged in 1997 has been identified as the most likely source of a future influenza pandemic. Strains of avian influenza virus may infect various types of animals, including birds, pigs, horses, seals, whales and humans. However, wild fowl act as natural asymptomatic carriers, spreading it to more susceptible domestic stocks. Avian influenza virus spreads in the air and in manure and there is no evidence that the virus can survive in well cooked meat.
What to look for
- Ruffled feathers
- Soft-shelled eggs
- Depression and droopiness
- Sudden drop in egg production
- Loss of appetite
- Cyanosis (purplish-blue coloring) of wattles and comb
- Edema and swelling of head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
- Green diarrhoea
- Blood-tinged discharge from nostrils
- Incoordination, including loss of ability to walk and stand
- Pin-point hemorrhages (most easily seen on the feet and shanks)
- Respiratory distress
- Increased death losses in a flock
- Sudden death
- Nasal discharges
Poultry Vaccination as a strategy for controlling AI in commercial birds
Outbreaks of avian influenza in the poultry industry cause devastating economic losses and is generally controlled through extensive culling of infected birds. Alternative strategies also use vaccination as a supplementary control measure during avian influenza outbreaks.. Advantages of Vaccination
- Vaccination reduces susceptibility to infection.
- A higher dose of virus is necessary to infect the vaccinated birds.
- Vaccinated birds shed less virus.
- Decreased contamination of the environment.
- Decreased risk of human infection
- Used strategically vaccination compliments a stamping out strategy by slowing/stopping the spread of the virus
- Vaccination as Part of an Avian Influenza Control Strategy
- VECTORMUNE® HVT AIV
Avian Influenza (Fowl Plague) is a potentially devastating disease, predominantly of chickens and turkeys, although the virus can also affect game birds (pheasants, partridge and quail), ratites (ostrich and emu), psittacine and passerine birds.
Avian Influenza is caused by an orthomyxovirus, or influenza virus and can survive for considerable lengths of time outside of the host and birds are infected through contact with other birds, mechanical vectors such as vehicles and equipment and personnel travelling between farms, markets and abattoirs.
Precautionary requirements include cleaning and disinfection of premises and the establishment of a Biosecurity barrier to help prevent spread of disease is essential.
For more information on biosecurity see the links below
- Efficacy of rHVT-AI Vector Vaccine in Broilers with Passive Immunity Against Challenge with Two Antigenically Divergent Egyptian Clade 2.2.1 HPAI H5N1 Strains
- Efficacy of a Recombinant HVT-H5 Vaccine Against Challenge with Two Genetically Divergent Indonesian HPAI H5N1 Strains
- OIE - HPAI Situation Reports
- Avian Influenza WHO information
- Avian Influenza CDC information
- Bird flu timelines Recombinetics
- About Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza