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Medical News and Perspectives
May 22, 2013

CDC: Use Antivirals Early, Aggressively for H7N9 Flu

JAMA. 2013;309(20):2086. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6086

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising clinicians to begin antiviral treatment as soon as possible for individuals with suspected or confirmed H7N9 influenza infection, according to a guidance document issued by the agency in April (http://tinyurl.com/d4gzab7).

Since China first alerted global public health officials of an outbreak of H7N9 influenza on March 31, a total of 126 laboratory-confirmed human cases have occurred, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) at press time (http://tinyurl.com/crybbkd). Most of the identified patients have developed severe pneumonia and 24 had died. However, the WHO said the full range of illness may not be known (http://tinyurl.com/bvgk8p8). The source of infections has not yet been confirmed, although Chinese authorities had found infected poultry at markets. So far, the WHO said there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

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