Avian influenza A H7N9 virus starts its 6th wave….

It’s that time of year again!

No, not time for more leftovers, but time to turn our eyes towards China for signs of H7N9 activity.[1]

While this is a ‘bird flu’ (avian influenza) that mostly circulates among poultry, it is afforded many , many opportunities to spill over into humans via China’s tradition of using live bird markets (LBMs; also called live poultry markets, LPMS or ‘wet markets’) which bring infected poultry into close contact with susceptible humans.

The 5th wave, or epidemic, was the biggest yet (see the human cases and those who died in Graph 1 below) and followed on from the smallest [3] since the virus had been characterized.

What happens with the size, severity and length of the 6th wave and whether new influenza strains emerge that can transmist more readily among people cannot be known – only guessed at.

Graph 1. Human cases of influenza A/H7N9 virus acquired in China. More graphs can be found at https://virologydownunder.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/influenza-ah7n9-virus-detection-numbers.html [2]


  1. Avian influenza A(H7N9 virus…a primer…
  2. Influenza A(H7N9) virus: detection numbers and graphs…
  3. H7N9 in humans – biggest ever season in humans – most poorly reported as well

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