Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for a response plan to be put in place in the event avian influenza or another pandemic virus affects people in U.S. as it has in Asia.
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, two House Republicans said: “The need for the updated pandemic influenza plan is vital as there is a current potential pandemic threat.”
They cited an expert who said H7N9 poses the largest pandemic threat in the past 100 years.
In China, 15 new cases of avian influenza were recently reported in nine provinces. Of the 11 cases with enough information on outcomes, two of the people had died, one had pneumonia and seven had severe pneumonia, while one case was considered mild. Twelve of the 15 infected persons had been exposed to live poultry, and one was exposed to live poultry sold by street vendors. It’s unclear if the remaining two were exposed to the virus-carrying animals, according to the Washington Times.
On April 18, WATTAgNet reported that Taiwan, Vietnam and South Korea had recorded new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in the prior week.