China reports first human case of influenza A(H7N4) Virus

The China's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has received notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) that a human case of avian influenza A (H7N4) was confirmed from February 10 to 14.

According to the NHFPC, this is the first case of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N4) in the world. The case involved a 68-year-old female patient living in Liyang in Changzhou of Jiangsu Province who developed symptoms on December 25, 2017. She was admitted to hospital for medical treatment on January 1 and was discharged on January 22. She had contact with live poultry before the onset of symptoms. All her close contacts did not have any symptoms during the medical surveillance period.

According to a report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, upon analysis, the genes of the virus were determined to be of avian origin. Although a subtype of Influenza A (H7N4) Virus sparked a minor outbreak in chickens in Australia in 1997[1], and this subtype has been reported elsewhere in the world (South Africa, Texas, etc.), this is likely a new reassortant virus.

Like I said before: nature is unpredictable.

[1] Selleck et al: An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Australia in 1997 caused by an H7N4 virus in Avian Diseases - 2003

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