CDC Monitors New Strain of Avian Flu in China

As I watch the latest reports of the new Avian Influenza A (H7N9) virus in China, I am reminded of the critical role the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plays in our nation’s health security. Since the first cases of H7N9 were detected on April 1, CDC scientists have been working around the clock with international partners to monitor the progress of this new strain of bird flu that has killed seven people, and counting, in Eastern China.

CDC is using the genetic sequence of the H7N9 bird flu strain to initiate work on a vaccine and develop a kit that will enable public health officials to test for the virus. According to CDC, those infected appear to have come into direct contact with sick birds, and there is no evidence to suggest that this strain can be passed from person to person. The virus has not been detected in people or birds in the United States, but CDC is following the situation closely and working 24/7 with public health partners:

  • Issuing guidance to U.S. clinicians and public health departments on how to test for this virus
  • Modifying test kits so that this specific virus can be easily and accurately identified
  • Reviewing genetic sequences of the virus to learn more about it
  • Gathering more information to make a more extensive assessment of the public health risk posed by this virus

This is an evolving situation and CDC continues to provide updated information as it becomes available.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information on Avian Influenza A (H7N9).

View CDC’s Health Alert Network for the latest information.

Avian Influenza A (H7N9) In the News:

New York Times


ABC News

South China Morning Post

Charles Stokes is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.