Family Clusters of Avian Influenza A H7N9 Virus Infection in Guangdong Province, China
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Since its first identification, the epizootic avian influenza A H7N9 virus has continued to cause infections in China. Two waves were observed during this outbreak. No cases were reported from Guangdong Province during the first wave, but this province became one of the prime outbreak sites during the second wave. In order to identify the transmission potential of this continuously evolving infectious virus, our research group monitored all clusters of H7N9 infections during the second wave of the epidemic in Guangdong Province. Epidemiological, clinical, and virological data on these patients were collected and analyzed. Three family clusters including six cases of H7N9 infection were recorded. The virus caused severe disease in two adult patients but only mild symptoms for all four pediatric patients. All patients reported direct poultry or poultry market exposure history. Relevant environment samples collected according to their reported exposures tested H7N9 positive. Virus isolates from patients in the same cluster shared high sequence similarities. In conclusion, although continually evolving, the currently circulating H7N9 viruses in Guangdong Province have not yet demonstrated the capacity for efficient and sustained person-to-person transmission.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Copyright 2015. American Society for Microbiology. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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