What is H7N9 avian influenza?
Influenza A(H7N9) is one of a sub-group of influenza viruses that normally circulate among birds. Until recently, this virus had not been seen in people. However, human infections have now been detected in China.
Update: 31 January 2014
As of 30 January 2014, 259 cases of avian influenza A (H7N9), including 56 deaths, have been reported in China (including Hong Kong) and Taiwan. Although the environmental source has not yet been definitively determined, many of the confirmed cases have reported contact with chickens, other poultry or a live animal “wet market” environment.
To date there has been no evidence of sustained transmission of the H7N9 virus from person to person.
Chinese New Year will be celebrated on 31 January 2014. During the latter part of January and the month of February the number of incoming passengers to Australia from China rises substantially. With the anticipated increase in incoming passengers during this period there is a possibility of cases of H7N9 presenting to health services in Australia.