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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Pandemic flu strain trying to gain footing in China, but no evidence yet of human transmission

As of April 15, a total of 60 patients have been laboratory-confirmed with a novel influenza A(H7N9) virus in China and there have been 13 deaths.

So far, there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission, but more than a thousand close contacts of the confirmed cases are being closely monitored. Investigations into the possible sources of infection and reservoirs of the virus are ongoing. Until the source of infection has been identified, it is expected that there will be further cases of human infection with the virus in China, the World Health Organization reports.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied.

The New York Times reports that "even the censored Chinese news media has begun cautiously questioning why the authorities did not say anything sooner about a disease that resulted in the first known human case in eastern China on Feb. 19, but was not announced to the public until March 31. The announcement came two weeks after the closing of the National People’s Congress, a show event during which the Communist Party traditionally avoids acknowledging problems," the Times reports.