Monday, 15 April 2013

Asymptomatic H7N9 case detected.

Multiple reports of the first asymptomatic case in a 4-year old male (4M) living across the street from the previously H7N9-POS, 7F. This may demystify a lot of H7N9 confusion as well as seriously increase the threat level for H7N9 spread...a stealth virus not only in poultry but humans is a new game. 

As I've suggested earlier, the widespread use of sensitive molecular detection methods, not just on the cases with the most severe clinical signs and symptoms, is absolutely essential to detect mild or asymptomatic cases of infection. The use of PCR in this way seems to have done just that. 

I'll keep a close eye on this story but I suspect it will result in a drastic change to the landscape of detection numbers and epidemiology. 

Symptoms alone tell only a small part of the story of any respiratory virus. This may strengthen the case for H7N9 having been in the community for much longer than the pneumonia cases officially commencing back in Feb, suggest.