WHO now reports 38 cases and 10 deaths from H7N9 in four provinces in China. The novel influenza strain has affected people across all age groups from the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai and Anhui. WHO continues to state that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission and more than 760 contacts are being monitored
There is a fascinating article this morning in the NYT asking the question…why didn’t China’s hundreds of medical and veterinary labs spot the problem sooner — or if they did, why it was not disclosed. After all, the first known human case in eastern China occurred on 19 February, but was not announced to the public until 31 March. The announcement came two weeks after the closing of the National People’s Congress, a show event during which the Communist Party traditionally avoids acknowledging problems. Coincidence?
China’s health ministry is now finding three to five human cases a day, a brisk pace for a disease that Chinese officials and WHO still asserts that it is being transmitted only from animals to people, and not from person to person.
This week the CDC activated its emergency operations center and governments around the world began making preparations in case of a flu pandemic.