The number of human infections with avian influenza A (H7N9) in China has risen to 109; with 23 deaths. There are still no reports of H7N9 in the United States. While there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human spread of this virus, CDC is taking routine pandemic preparedness measures to prepare for that possibility.
Here’s one from Jeff Nesbit in US News:
It’s Time to Worry About the New Chinese Bird FluNone of this is good.
Right now, 18 percent of the cases in China have ended in death. While this is still less deadly than the previous avian flu outbreak in China six years ago – the H5N1 bird flu virus eventually killed more than 300 people after spreading from China to other countries in 2006 – the death rate for this new Chinese bird flu epidemic is more than triple the mortality rate of tuberculosis in China today.
None of the above cited sources are “panicking” when they write about this. I wish the word would be retired; the only people who panic are politicians. Still, it’s a word you’ll see used whenever we write about flu because it’s a convenient way of criticizing authors for NOT writing about something the critics want written (most critics don’t bother writing themselves, I’ll note.) Didn’t you know diarrhea kills more people? Didn’t you know [fill in cause] is waaay more important? Well, see graphic at top of post. They are all important. But today, we’re talking about flu. Deal with it. And as an amusing side note I was struck by a recent kos post: