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:
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Home Page
- Emergency of Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus Causing Severe Human Illness (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 2013)
- Interim Guidance for Infection Control Within Healthcare Settings When Caring for Patients with Confirmed, Probable, or Cases Under Investigation of Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus Infection, CDC
- Interim Guidance on the Use of Antiviral Agents for Treatment of Human Infections with Avian Influenza A (H7N9), CDC
- Diagnostics for Detecting H7N9 Using rRT-PCR (CDC)
- Interim Guidance on Case Definitions to be Used for Novel Influenza A (H7N9) Case Investigations in the United States (CDC)
- World Health Organization Influenza at the Human-Animal Interface (HAI)
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.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Avian Flu
- Guidance for Clinicians and Laboratorians Regarding Avian Influenza A (H5N1) (PDF)
- Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (MDA) Avian Influenza
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
- Avian Influenza: Resources for Health Professionals
- Recommendations for travelers
- News and Highlights
- Testing Page - Laboratory Diagnostics
Information from the World Health Organization (WHO)
Information from US Agencies
- US Department of Health and Human Services
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Avian Influenza
- National Wildlife Health Center
- CDC - Interim Guidance for Laboratory Testing of Persons with Suspected Infection with Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus in the United States
- Specimen Submission Form - general form used for human tests
- CDC - Testing Page - Laboratory Diagnostics
- Influenza Surveillance Specimen Submission Form
Influenza-seasonal or novel, Swine, Parainfluenza, Adenovirus, RSV (SI-VI-1-09)
- Division 6.2 Infectious Substance Shipping Guide: Classification, Packing, Marking and Labeling file size 1MB
- Label for Respiratory Viral Kits/ Flu Kits (PDF) file size 1MB
This information is provided by within the Department of Public Health.
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