U.S. Hospitals Told to Be on Lookout for H7N9 Bird Flu

U.S. Hospitals Told to Be on Lookout for H7N9 Bird Flu

U.S. hospitals are being urged to head off a spread of the new H7N9 avian influenza by looking out for people exhibiting flu-like symptoms who have traveled to China or had contact with someone who has the illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a conference call with health-care professionals yesterday to review procedures for treating bird-flu patients and controlling infections, Erin Burns, an agency spokeswoman, said in an e- mail. The Atlanta-based agency today issued interim guidance on the use of antiviral agents to treat H7N9 infections. Issuing the guidance and holding the clinician calls “would be considered routine preparedness measures for an outbreak with pandemic potential,” Burns said.

China has recorded 92 human infections of the H7N9 strain of bird flu, with 17 of the cases fatal, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from national and provincial governments and the World Health Organization. The source of the infection hasn’t been identified and there is no evidence of person-to- person transmission, with many of the cases involving human contact with poultry, according to the CDC’s website.There haven’t been any cases reported in the U.S. and sustained person-to-person spread is needed for a pandemic to occur. The H7N9 virus is novel and has the potential to cause a pandemic if it were to change and spread through human-to-human contact, CDC said.

No Vaccine

H7N9 viruses have been detected in poultry in the same area in China where human infections have occurred, according to the CDC. A vaccine for the strain isn’t available.

Clinicians should consider the possibility of the H7N9 virus infection in people with respiratory illness and an appropriate travel history or exposure, CDC said in a notice April 5. The agency issued guidance on the same day for how to test for the virus. On April 11, the CDC released interim infection control guidelines for U.S. health-care workers, Burns said.

Suspected cases should be reported to the CDC within 24 hours, the agency advised. Clinicians should request testing and a diagnosis from a state public health laboratory or CDC.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Edney in Washington at aedney@bloomberg.net

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 (www.heroinnovator.com), 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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