Chinese authorities suspect human-to-human transmission of H7N9 avian flu and has admitted for the first time it’s a possibility; China confirms 82 H7N9 cases, 17 deaths

Chinese authorities suspect human-to-human transmission of H7N9 avian flu

By Adam Pasick @adampasick 4 hours ago

A worrying development in China’s H7N9 outbreak: There is growing evidence that the virus may have the ability to be transmitted between humans, especially close family members, and the Chinese government has admitted for the first time it’s a possibility.

The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission said on Thursday it could not rule out human-to-human transmission in the case of a Shanghai family—two brothers, at least one of whom has the virus, and their 87-year-old father, who was the first confirmed H7N9 fatality. A husband and wife in Shanghai also both contracted H7N9.

“Further investigations are still under way to figure out whether the family cluster involved human-to-human transmission,” said Feng Zijian, director of the health emergency center of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention,according to the state-run China Daily. “Human-to-human transmission, in theory, is possible, but is highly sporadic.” Some of the H7N9 patients have had no contact with poultry, making human-to-human transmission a real possibility, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. There have been 82 cases of H7N9, with 17 fatalities.There is a crucial difference between a virus capable of limited human-to-human transmission, during long periods of close contact between family members, and effective human-to-human transmission, as with seasonal flu that can spread with incidental contact.

The H1N1 avian flu, which caused several hundred thousand deaths in 2009 and 2010, was capable of limited human-to-human transmission. A strain of avian flu with a high mortality rate that is capable of effective human-to-human transmission, on the other hand, would have the makings of a disaster film.

China investigating possible human-to-human spread of bird flu

BEIJING — China is investigating the possibility of human-to-human transmission of a new strain of bird flu that has killed 17 people and is examining “family clusters” of people infected with the virus, a top health official was quoted as saying.

BY –


BEIJING — China is investigating the possibility of human-to-human transmission of a new strain of bird flu that has killed 17 people and is examining “family clusters” of people infected with the virus, a top health official was quoted as saying.

Authorities have slaughtered thousands of birds and closed some live poultry markets to slow the rate of human infection. But many aspects of this new variety of bird flu remain a mystery, particularly whether the H7N9 strain is being transmitted between people.

China has warned that the number of infections, 82 so far, could rise. Most of the cases and 11 of the deaths have been in the commercial capital Shanghai.

Mr Feng Zijian, the director of the health emergency centre at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters yesterday that “we are paying close attention to these cases of family clusters.

“(We) are still analysing in-depth to see which has the greatest possibility — did it occur first from avian-to-human transmission, and then a human-to-human infection, whether they had a common history of exposure, were exposed to infected objects or whether it was caused by the environment,” Mr Feng said.

His comments were reported in a statement posted on the website of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

One of the families that China is studying is made up of two brothers and their father who died of the virus, Mr Feng said.

“This family cluster case still doesn’t change our understanding of the characteristics of the disease in general — that it is transmitted from birds to people and there’s no evidence of human-to-human transmission,” Mr Feng said. REUTERS

China confirms 82 H7N9 cases, 17 deaths   2013-04-17

BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) — From 8 p.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. Wednesday, China confirmed five new cases of human H7N9 avian influenza infection, including one in Shanghai and four in Zhejiang Province.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said in its daily update on H7N9 cases that a total of 82 H7N9 cases have been reported in China, including 17 that have ended in death.

Of the total, five H7N9 patients have been discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment, and the other 60 patients are being treated in designated hospitals, according to the commission.

A total of 31 cases, including 11 that have ended in death, have been reported in Shanghai. Twenty cases, including three deaths, have been reported in Jiangsu Province, and 25 cases, including two deaths, in Zhejiang Province. Anhui Province has reported three cases, with one death. Beijing has reported one case and two have been reported in Henan Province.

China officially confirmed the occurrence of humans infected with the H7N9 virus late last month.

According to the commission, China’s confirmed H7N9 cases are isolated and there has been no sign of human-to-human transmission.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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