Monday, 13 May 2013

Welcome to Week 7 of the H7N9 outbreak.

Week 6 was relatively quiet although more fatalities occurred than in Week 5 (3 vs. 2).

No new H7N9 cases with a date of onset in Week 6 occurred, and there were only 3 in Week 5 so confirmed case reports have dropped right back. 
Tomorrow is "tell-all Tuesday" (well, I'd like some more date data this time around) in which we hope to get a snapshot of cases over the past reporting week in China. No sustained human-to-human transmission, no new provinces or municipalities reporting cases. Reports suggest that with summer coming H7N9 cases will drop off. I'm not convinced given of that H1N1pdm 2009 peaked in the US during the warmer months - I think an emerging flu virus may well be able to buck the trend of seasonality. However, I suspect that seasonality is heavily influenced by virus:virus interactions in the community so it may depend on what other respiratory viruses are co-circulating now and in the coming weeks.