|From WHO Disease Outbreak News (DON) at|
But consider these questions for a moment:
- Why would you visit the WHO to learn of this, if you were not seeking some actual detail and evaluation of risk?
- If you were a casual browser, I expect you would come away from this with some out-of-context concerns about a bolus of cases in such a short period, spanning a wide age range and occurring across considerable geographic distance. Should you be worried? Is this the precursor to some larger outbreak? Each difficult to answer from this very small cross-section of information.
- These public data are relied upon by some when they write papers or release infectious disease reports - so why not include key - yet deidentified - demographic detail in a line list format - remember MERS-CoV in South Korea anyone? That WHO list  was messy  but it was a step forward for those outside the WHO network who wanted free, publicly available basic data, quickly
|From FluTrackers' H7N9 line list at|
When sufficient - or any - detail is lacking, then it comes down to the public to look for any answers they seek...by themselves. In this case, that has been FluTrackers & Co; this source has proven itself very worthy for this and for other viral threat monitoring, but cannot be expected to fill this need indefinitely.[2,3]
H7N9 is a good example of an absence of obvious change to the flow of information that the world's public, citizen scientists and its more professional scientists receive about new infectious threats. And this is all a bit strange because I was sure we'd heard a lot about the need to do much, much better on this sort of tracking and chatting in 2014/5 during one of the biggest modern moments of being "caught with our pants down" - the Ebola virus disease epidemic.
Time and viruses wait for no person. Be faster.
Ho. Ho. Ho.