Avian influenza (H7N9 and others) in China

Updated: August 10, 2016

Travel Health Notice

Since March 2013, confirmed human cases of an avian influenza virus identified as A(H7N9) have been reported in the People's Republic of China. These cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus were of particular concern as they were the first reported cases of this avian influenza virus in humans. At this time, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.

The majority of cases have occurred in neighbouring regions in eastern and south eastern China,  and travel-related cases have been reported in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan. In January 2015, Canada reported two cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in travellers who returned from a trip to China. These were the first confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in North America.

For the latest updates on avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including the total number of cases and deaths, please visit the World Health Organization's (WHO) Situation updates – Avian influenza.

Many different influenza viruses are found in animals and do not normally infect humans. However, some of these viruses including H5N1, H5N6, H9N2 and H10N8, have been known to cause human illness.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) works closely with its national and international partners, including the WHO, to track all types of avian influenza activity in Canada and around the world. PHAC will continue to monitor the situation and inform the public as information becomes available.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers going to regions where avian influenza is present reduce their risk by following the recommendations listed below.

Recommendations

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.


1. Minimize your risk of being exposed to avian influenza:

2. Wash your hands frequently:

3. Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:

4. Monitor your health:

 


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