No announcement yet.

ON: Emergency Planning and Preparedness - Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in China

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ON: Emergency Planning and Preparedness - Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in China


    Ministry Status: Activation Status
    Emergency Planning and Preparedness
    Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in China

    On April 1, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that individuals in China had been infected with influenza A(H7N9).

    Influenza A(H7N9) viruses normally circulate among birds. Human infections with avian influenza are rare but have occurred in the past, most commonly after exposure to infected poultry. The H7N9 influenza virus is difficult to detect in avian populations because it causes few or no signs of disease in animals. Individuals infected with avian influenza A viruses present with a variety of symptoms that range from mild illness to more severe disease. Symptoms include conjunctivitis, fever and cough to fulminant pneumonia. It is important to note that information is still limited about the full spectrum of disease that infection with the influenza A(H7N9) virus might cause.

    This is the first time that this avian influenza A subtype (H7N9) has been found in humans. This virus is very different from other H7N9 viruses previously found in birds, and genetic sequencing of the virus indicates it is a reassortant virus with genes derived from H7N9 and H9N2 avian influenza viruses.

    There is no vaccine currently available for this influenza virus. Preliminary test results provided by the WHO Collaborating Centre in China suggest that the virus is susceptible to neuraminidase inhibitors (i.e., oseltamivir and zanamivir).

    To date, no cases of human infection with the H7N9 virus have been identified outside of China.

    The risk posed to Ontarians by this virus is considered low at this time based on the lack of confirmed human-to-human transmission and the geographic containment of illness detection.

    Although the risk is low, health care providers should consider the possibility of novel influenza A(H7N9) virus infection in persons with respiratory illness that meet the exposure criteria, such as recent travel history to China. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has released guidance on influenza A(H7N9) for the health workers and health sector employers with information on what to be on the lookout for, laboratory testing and treatment recommendations, and appropriate occupational health & safety and infection prevention & control measures.

    There are a number of resources that health workers and health sector employers can turn to for more information on the influenza A(H7N9) virus :

    World Health Organization's Disease Outbreak News Website
    Public Health Agency of Canada's Public Health Notice on the H7N9 avian flu in China
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Website on Influenza A(H7N9)
    Nature's summary of a fatal case caused by novel H7N9 avian influenza A virus in China

    Information on the ministry's guidance for health workers and health sector employers on influenza A(H7N9).

    Additional information on avian influenza viruses.

    For More Information

    Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
    Emergency Management Branch
    1075 Bay Street, Suite 810
    Toronto, Ontario
    Canada M5S 2B1
    Fax : 416-212-4466
    TTY : 1-800-387-5559
    E-mail :

    Healthcare Provider Hotline
    Toll free : 1-866-212-2272

    CritiCall Ontario provides a 24 hour call centre for hospitals to contact on-call specialists; arrange for appropriate hospital bed access and facilitate urgent triage for patients