As of June 3, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports 132 cases of Avian flu virus (H7N9), 37 of which have resulted in death.
Many of the human cases of H7N9 virus have had direct contact with poultry. However, some cases have not had such contact. Investigators are monitoring possible limited transmission within households where there is a confirmed case. So far, however, there is no evidence of ongoing, human to human transmission.
There are no reported cases of H7N9 in the United States. However, as a standard pandemic preparedness precaution, the CDC received the first H7N9 virus isolate from China on Thursday, April 11th, which will allow them to begin developing a vaccine.
There are currently NO travel restrictions. Public Health officials are closely monitoring the situation in the United States, and people are being advised to go about their daily lives.
If you are traveling to China, here are some precautions you can take to protect yourself:
- Do not touch birds, pigs, or other animals.
- Do not touch animals whether they are alive or dead.
- Avoid live bird or poultry markets.
- Avoid other markets or farms with animals.
- Eat food that is fully cooked.
- Eat meat and poultry that is fully cooked (not pink) and served hot.
- Eat hard-cooked eggs (not runny).
- Don’t eat or drink dishes that include blood from any animal.
- Don’t eat food from street vendors.
- Practice hygiene and cleanliness:
- Wash your hands often.
- If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils or cups, with people who are sick.
- See a doctor if you become sick during or after travel to China.
- See a doctor right away if you become sick with fever, coughing, or shortness of breath.
- If you get sick while you are still in China, visit the US Department of State website to find a list of local doctors and hospitals. Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website (www.jointcommissioninternational.org).
- Delay your travel home until after you have recovered or your doctor says it is ok to travel.
- If you get sick with fever, coughing, or shortness of breath after you return to the United States, be sure to tell your doctor about your recent travel to China. (2)
For more information about the U.S. Government Pandemic Policy for Americans Abroad by the U.S. Embassy in China, visit http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/avianflufactsheet.html
To learn more about the Avian Influenza A (H7N9) virus, visit the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/h7n9-virus.htm
Download the World Health Organization’s “Frequently Asked Questions” fact sheet on the H7N9 virus