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Delaware Health Alert Network #302

May 15, 2013 12:52 pm


Health Alert
UPDATE REGARDING HUMAN INFECTIONS WITH NOVEL INFLUENZA A (H7N9) AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) USE BY HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS


Summary and Background

Sporadic human cases of infection with avian influenza A (H7N9) continue to be reported in China. As of May 8, there were 131 confirmed cases of H7N9 with 32 deaths. There have been no cases reported outside China. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to monitor the situation closely.

Overall the epidemiology of the current outbreak has not changed. Evidence continues to point to infected poultry or contaminated environments as the source of most infections. There is still no evidence of sustained (ongoing) human-to-human transmission with this virus. At this time, the risk to people in the United States from H7N9 continues to be low.

Recommendations:


For Public:

CDC does not have any special recommendations for the U.S. public related to H7N9. In addition, CDC does not recommend restricting travel to China at this time. However, travelers to China should practice hand hygiene, follow food safety practices (such as eating only meats and poultry products, including eggs, that have been cooked thoroughly), and avoid contact with animals

For Clinicians and Public Health Professionals:

  1. Consider influenza as a possible diagnosis when evaluating patients with acute respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia, even outside of the typical influenza season;
  2. Consider patients with illness compatible with influenza who have recently traveled to countries where cases of influenza A (H7N9) virus infection have been detected as candidates for PCR testing for H7N9 (available through the Public health laboratory). For information regarding testing patients, contact the Bureau of Epidemiology at 302-744-1033.
  3. Start all confirmed or probable H7N9 cases on antiviral treatment with oseltamivir or zanamivir as early as possible and immediately report any confirmed or probable cases to the Bureau of Epidemiology at 302-744-1033.
  4. In addition to standard and droplet precautions (including hand hygiene, use of gloves, gowns and eye protection), the CDC recommends the use of respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a fit-tested NIOSH-certified N95 respirator upon entry to the patient room or care area. The CDC is not recommending use of surgical masks for care of patients with known or suspected Avian Influenza A H7N9.

Additional Information:

For more information, please visit the following links:

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