According to the CDC, the H7N9 strain of bird flu is unusually active again in China, and advises travelers to avoid chickens and poultry markets.
“Chinese health authorities have confirmed 120 new human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) since September 2016, with 37 deaths,” CDC said. “Most of these patients reported exposure to live poultry or poultry markets. Infections have been reported in the provinces of Jiangsu, Fujian, and Guangdong, as well as the Macau and Hong Kong Special Administrative Regions.”
H7N9 is a strain of the species influenza virus A (avian influenza virus or bird flu virus) that normally circulates in bird populations with some variants known to occasionally infect people. Humans catch bird flu by coming into contact with affected birds or their droppings.
The first H7N9 virus to be reported in humans occurred in China in March 2013. Cases continued to be reported throughout April and then dropped during the summer months. By the end of the year, at least 144 cases were reported, and 46 people died as a result of their infection, according to the CDC.
Symptoms of bird flu include severe cough, diarrhea, respiratory difficulties, fever (over 100.4°F), headache, muscle aches and runny nose.
CDC says the best way to prevent infection with bird flu virus is to avoid sources of exposure whenever possible. Most human infections have occurred following direct close or prolonged contact with sick or dead infected poultry.
Other ways to help minimize your risk of catching or passing on bird flu include regular hand washing, particularly before and after handling food, and covering your mouth when you sneeze.
Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Virus Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N1 (Swine Flu)
Source: NBC News