H7N9 Flu Epidemic in China

I believe the recent increase in reported cases, the widening geographical spread of the virus and the evidence that H7N9 is now at least partially adapted to humans qualifies the current situation as an epidemic in China.

NTDV, April 3, 2013
hat-tip, Pixie


Already in that eastern region of China, nine cases of this strain have been officially confirmed. But unofficially, there have been reports that the situation could be much worse.

On Tuesday (April 2) Chinese author Ge Hongbing posted this message on his Weibo microblog account. He said that the contagious diseases office of the People’s Liberation Army 301 Hospital have issued an emergency notice. The missive said that three people have died in Shanghai from the H7N9, and that almost 100 have been infected.


Hong Kong’s Wenweipo newspaper reported on Tuesday that a doctor at the hospital where the two patients died says there has been a sudden increase in pneumonia cases. The two fatal cases in Shanghai both developed pneumonia, a symptom of the H7N9 virus.


More to come…


4 thoughts on “H7N9 Flu Epidemic in China

  1. You mean “epizoonotic” (in this case, the geographically widespread transmission of disease from bird-to-human, far above any baseline for this virus — the previous known baseline being zero.

    It already is “epiZOOTIC” (widespread transmission from bird-to-bird) in China (and who knows where else, at this point? Someone probably knows… )

    It will be “epiDEMIC”, and then pandemic, rather quickly as soon as efficient human-to-human spread were to begin.

  2. Actually, we don’t know that it is epizoonotic. That is an assertion with little evidence. Given the number of reported cases, their geographical distribution and the documented cover-up by the Chinese authorities, I think epidemic is most likely to be correct. One can imagine inefficient human to human transmission which may soon become efficient. Then I agree there will be very rapid transition to a pandemic. We may also have simply been fortunate thus far to have avoided a superspreader event.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s