China on alert because of avian influenza (H7N9) infections

So far in 2017, 19 people have been reported having H7N9 avian influenza throughout China. Infected people are being reported from Wuhan Yuancheng, Xiaogan City, Jingzhou City, Huanggang City, Xianning City, and Ezhou City.

Advice For Travellers

During the past few years, sporadic reports of people infected with avian influenza (H7N9) have been received from various provinces in China, including Hong Kong. This virus causes a severe and often fatal respiratory infection in humans and is universally fatal in poultry, especially chickens. Most of the cases have been in people who have close contact with chickens that carry this virus, especially people working in the live chicken markets where they are slaughtered.

The risk for the general traveller is extremely low, since person-to-person spread of this flu strain is rare. However, the risk of exposure can be minimized by avoiding visiting live poultry markets where the virus may be found.