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Scientists Reveal H7N9 Clinical Findings

30 May 2013

CHINA - A new report by Chinese scientists has shown that all 111 H7N9 avian influenza patients investigated for research had a fever, while 90.1 per cent had developed coughs, and males and the elderly are more susceptible to infection.

The report by scientists from 30 hospitals in seven Chinese provinces and municipalities revealed for the first time the clinical findings of 111patients who were confirmed as infected with H7N9.

According to the report, published recently on the website of the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world's most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals, 76.6 per cent of the studied patients were admitted to an intensive care unit while 27 per cent died.

The median age of the patients was 61 years, and 42.3 per cent were 65 years of age or older, indicating that the elderly are more likely to be infected with the disease.

"This might be related with the habits of Chinese families where the elderly are more often shopping at markets," said Li Lanjuan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who was responsible for the research.

Markets trading in live poultry have been proved to be main sources of H7N9 infection from birds to people.

Some 68.5 per cent of the patients investigated for the report were male.

"But we have not conducted further research on whether it is related with genes," Li said.

On admission, 108 patients, or 97.3 per cent, had findings consistent with pneumonia, according to the report.

H7N9 avian influenza was first reported in March in China.

To date, the Chinese mainland has reported 130 confirmed H7N9 cases.

Of the total, 37 cases ended in death and 76 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, according to a statement issued by the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Monday.

The statement added that no evidence of human-to-human transmission has been detected so far.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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