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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
June 26, 2013

Clinicians Advised to Be Aware of New Avian Flu Symptoms

Author Affiliations
 

News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Section Editor: Rebecca Voelker, MSJ.

JAMA. 2013;309(24):2545. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6983

As of mid-May, human infections with a new avian influenza A(H7N9) virus had not been reported outside of China. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised US clinicians to consider H7N9 infection a possibility in patients who have an acute respiratory illness and traveled recently to China.

The first 3 human infections with the virus were reported to the World Health Organization on March 31. All 3 patients had severe pneumonia, developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, and died of their illness. By April 29, China had reported 126 confirmed H7N9 infections among humans, 24 of whom had died. Reports indicate that most of the symptomatic infections occurred in older patients (median age of 61 years), men, and individuals with underlying medical conditions.

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