Information about Avian Influenza A (H7N9)

On April 1, 2013, the World Health Organization reported the first cases of human infections with avian influenza A (H7N9) in China. This was the first time that this influenza A subtype (H7N9) had been reported in humans. Infections have resulted in severe respiratory illness and in some cases death. The majority of cases are presumed to have resulted from exposure to infected birds, primarily chickens and ducks, which may not be obviously ill. No evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission has been found, although there have been small clusters of illness in China where human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out.

Healthcare providers in Massachusetts who suspect avian influenza A (H7N9) infection in patients with appropriate travel and/or exposure history should contact their local board of health and MDPH immediately at 617/983-6800 for assistance with collection of specimens and recommendations concerning infection control and treatment of patients and their contacts.

Resources for Healthcare Providers and Public Health:

Information about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1)

Avian flu or "bird flu" is also caused by influenza viruses and occurs naturally among wild birds. The H5N1 strain currently circulating has caused significant illness and death among wild birds and domestic poultry. This strain of "bird flu" is not easily passed to humans. But, some people have become sick after extensive direct contact with domestic poultry.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Information from the World Health Organization (WHO)

Information from US Agencies

Testing Methods

For more information about influenza visit, or or call the Massachusetts Immunization Program at 617-983-6800 or 888-658-2850.



This information is provided by within the Department of Public Health.

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