China this week recorded a slowdown in new H7N9 avian influenza cases, but activity continued across a wide geographic range, including Beijing, and one of the illnesses occurred in a young child, according to update today from Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP).
From Apr 21 to Apr 27, the mainland reported 17 H7N9 infections, 2 of them fatal, down from 27 reported the previous week. Patient ages ranged from 4 to 74 years old; infections in children are relatively rare.
Five of the cases were reported from Sichuan province in the southwest. Two more were reported from Beijing in the north, raising its total so far to 15; the city has reported a recent surge of locally acquired infections. A case was also reported from the city of Chongquing, also in the southwest. In total, illnesses have been reported from eight different provinces.
All but one of the new case-patients had exposure to poultry, live poultry markets, or mobile poultry stalls.
China has now reported at least 656 cases, with at least 188 of those fatal, in the unprecedented and largest fifth wave of H7N9 activity.
Apr 28 CHP update
An update on H7N9 earlier this week from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the highly pathogenic form of the virus, first detected in Guangdong province earlier this year, has also been detected in poultry or poultry environments in Fujian, Guangxi, and Hunan provinces.
Apr 26 FAO H7N9 situation update
US flu activity declines, 6 more pediatric deaths reported
US flu levels declined again last week, with only seven states—most of them in the northeast—reporting widespread activity, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in an update.
Six pediatric flu deaths were reported last week, raising the season's total to 83. Four were associated with influenza B, one with H3N2, and one with unsubtyped influenza A. Overall deaths from pneumonia and flu were below the epidemic threshold.
Influenza B was the predominant strain found in tested samples last week, a pattern often seen late in the flu season. Outpatient visits for flulike illness are below the national baseline, but levels are still above regional baselines in the southeast and the northeast. The percentage of specimens that tested positive for flu was 9.6%, down from 12.6% the week before.
Apr 28 CDC FluView report