3 years ago

Epidemiology, Evolution, and Pathogenesis of H7N9 Influenza Viruses in Five Epidemic Waves since 2013 in China

Epidemiology, Evolution, and Pathogenesis of H7N9 Influenza Viruses in Five Epidemic Waves since 2013 in China
Jie Cui, Xiufan Liu, Min Gu, Jiyong Zhou, Shuo Su, George F. Gao, Di Liu

H7N9 influenza viruses were first isolated in 2013 and continue to cause human infections. H7N9 infections represent an ongoing public health threat that has resulted in 1344 cases with 511 deaths as of April 9, 2017. This highlights the continued threat posed by the current poultry trade and live poultry market system in China. Until now, there have been five H7N9 influenza epidemic waves in China; however, the steep increase in the number of humans infected with H7N9 viruses observed in the fifth wave, beginning in October 2016, the spread into western provinces, and the emergence of highly pathogenic (HP) H7N9 influenza outbreaks in chickens and infection in humans have caused domestic and international concern. In this review, we summarize and compare the different waves of H7N9 regarding their epidemiology, pathogenesis, evolution, and characteristic features, and speculate on factors behind the recent increase in the number of human cases and sudden outbreaks in chickens. The continuous evolution of the virus poses a long-term threat to public health and the poultry industry, and thus it is imperative to strengthen prevention and control strategies.

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