Through May 1, the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission had notified the World Health Organization of 127 cumulative cases of H7N9 influenza in humans.
The cases (more than 35 percent of them reported from Zhejiang Province), have included 25 fatalities. Two fatalities and 17 total cases were reported during the last week of April and the 25th death was confirmed May 1.
So far, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human virus transmission, but health authorities from across the globe are closely monitoring the situation. On April 28, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said his government would continue to cooperate with international health organizations, release information openly, and work to promote public awareness of the virus.
Research published in the British journal Lancet confirms that live chickens sold in Chinese poultry markets are the source of human H7N9 infections and that controlling the disease outbreak hinges on stopping the epidemic in poultry. All but one of the confirmed human cases reported through May 1 involved residents of Mainland China. One case involved a resident of Taiwan who had recently returned from travel on the Mainland.
The National Centers for Disease Control are working with state and local authorities to identify persons with respiratory illness who have recently traveled to China. Wild bird monitoring is also underway.
We will post additional H7N9 updates as news develops.