China has reported a four more cases of H7N9 in humans. A 45 year-old woman slaughters poultry in a local bird market. She began showing symptoms early last week and quickly deteriorated to critical condition. She is still in the hospital in Nanjing. The other cases involved an 83 year-old retired man, 48 year-old woman who worked in a sheet metal factory, and a 32 year-old unemployed woman. Their close contacts are being monitored and there is no sign of spread of the virus to others. All four people are in critical condition.
Further details about the first three cases have also come to light. The woman who is recovering apparently had contact with poultry prior to the onset of symptoms. The 27 year-old man worked in a swine slaughtering facility. The 87 year-old man had no known contact with any swine or poultry. The first three cases all presented with typical viral pneumonia with fever and coughing. By 5-7 days after symptom onset patients had difficulty breathing. The two fatally infected men died from acute respiratory distress syndrome.
None of the 88 close contacts o the first three cases have tested positive and surveillance of those individuals is ongoing.
UPDATE: Two more cases were announced today. A 38 year-old male chef died on March 27th 20 days after becoming ill and 9 days after being admitted to the hospital.
A retired 67 year-old man was admitted to the hospital on March 25th and remains hospitalized.
Total cases: 9
Total deaths: 3