Monday, 6 May 2013

H7N9 deaths jump - details dry up.

H7N9-associated deaths now listed at being at 31 (last count 25-26). 

Details for 6 cases are limited but appear to have come from Anhui (1), Zhejiang (1) and Jiangsu (4). A new 9M case, apparently mild (fever, fatigue, diarrhoea), also reported in Fujian province - he's already discharged - found positive "retrospectively". Two items of interest here: (1) The delay in detecting the virus may simply reflect the lengthy average laboratory turnaround time (9d); (2) it seems the swabs were from the upper airways (throat), a site that has proven problematic for accurate testing so far. 

If sustained human-to-human transmission was an efficient means of spread....

Total H7N9 cases listed as 131 (likely to exclude Taiwan case [imported from mainland] and asymptomatic child case) and discharged patients now number 42.