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Avian Influenza H7N9

On April 1, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) first reported 3 human infections with a new influenza A (H7N9) virus in China. Since then additional cases have been reported. H7N9 is a type of bird influenza virus not previously seen in humans. Patients with this virus have respiratory illness, often severe, and some have died. At this time, no cases of H7N9 outside of China have been reported. This virus has not been detected in people or birds in the United States.

This new H7N9 virus is an avian (bird) influenza (flu) virus, meaning it infects birds. The exact origin of this new outbreak is not yet known. An investigation into this virus is ongoing by Chinese, World Health Organization (WHO), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorities. H7N9 has not been shown to pass from person to person. As is their protocol, however, CDC has begun development of a human vaccine against this virus.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is following this situation very closely and coordinating with federal, state, and local partners. This is a rapidly changing situation and there is still much to learn. DHHS will provide updated information as it becomes available.

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