Of the grand total, six H7N9 patients have been discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment, and the other 64 patients are being treated in designated hospitals. Today on the CDC Clinician call they described the majority of cases as experiencing severe disease with respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as a hallmark.
Today CDC had its first H7N9 Clinician call. This group is known as COCA – Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity. They reported on a variety of issues and activities.
- Currently CDC is the only lab doing the H7N9 laboratory screens. If any states detect a case, the samples will be sent to Atlanta.
- They discussed how clinicians should establish a possible history of disease: Appropriate travel or exposure history, symptoms of the flu, and exposure to H7N9.
- CDC stated that there has been limited human-to-human transmission – they don’t describe the cases but refer to the known family cases. That is most interesting as the party line from the NHFPC on 17 April is that China’s confirmed H7N9 cases are isolated and there has been no sign of human-to-human transmission. However on 18 April, the government began to speculate that maybe there was H2H transmission although they stopped by saying it is “highly sporadic”.
- CDC is speaking with manufacturers of gloves, others PPE and antivirals to begin planning for a possible increased production.
- CDC reiterated that no travel restrictions are in effect.
- CDC is actively looking for cases and working with state departments of health.
- CDC stated there is no vaccine yet produced but investigations are underway. The history of the H7 virus is that it is tough to produce an immunogenic response and that the vaccine takes several doses and higher strengths.
- CDC has also developed interim guidance for H7N9 treatments. This can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/h7n9-antiviral-treatment.htm
- When asked about “should we revise our pandemic plan?” The CDC speaker, Dr. Alicia M. Fry, MD, MPH Medical Officer, CDC Influenza Division suggested that it would be a good idea.
So what are you waiting for?!?!?!