FAO Rules Out Human-to-Animal Transmission of H7N9

February 19, 2014 01:51 AM



The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations says there is no evidence that human patients infected with influenza A(H7N9), a low pathogenic virus in poultry, can transmit the virus to animals, including birds. FAO referred to the first human case of A(H7N9) outside China, which was recently detected in Malaysia.

The patient, originally from Guangdong Province in China, where she is thought to have contracted the infection, was visiting Malaysia as a tourist and has now been hospitalized there. Guangdong is one of the Chinese provinces most affected by the A(H7N9) virus in 2014. "This case does not come as a surprise and should not be a cause for increased concern, but should remind the world to remain vigilant," said FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth. "Humans that become ill with influenza A(H7N9) constitute no threat to poultry populations. In fact, we have no evidence that affected people could transmit the virus to other species, including birds. The highest risk of virus introduction is uncontrolled live poultry trade between affected and unaffected areas."

People, on the other hand, become infected following close contact with infected live poultry, mostly in live bird markets or when slaughtering birds at home.


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