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Geographical variation in the risk of H7N9 human infections in China: Implications for risk-based surveillance

Zhou, X., Gao, L., Wang, Y., Li, Y., Zhang, Y., Shen, C., Liu, A., Yu, Q., Zhang, W., Pekin, A., Guo, F., Smith, C., Clements, A.C.A., Edwards, J., Huang, B. and Soares Magalhães, R.J. (2020) Geographical variation in the risk of H7N9 human infections in China: Implications for risk-based surveillance. Scientific Reports, 10 (1). Article number: 10372.

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The influenza A (H7N9) subtype remains a public health problem in China affecting individuals in contact with live poultry, particularly at live bird markets. Despite enhanced surveillance and biosecurity at LBMs H7N9 viruses are now more widespread in China. This study aims to quantify the temporal relationship between poultry surveillance results and the onset of human H7N9 infections during 2013–2017 and to estimate risk factors associated with geographical risk of H7N9 human infections in counties in Southeast China. Our results suggest that poultry surveillance data can potentially be used as early warning indicators for human H7N9 notifications. Furthermore, we found that human H7N9 incidence at county-level was significantly associated with the presence of wholesale LBMs, the density of retail LBMs, the presence of poultry virological positives, poultry movements from high-risk areas, as well as chicken population density and human population density. The results of this study can influence the current AI H7N9 control program by supporting the integration of poultry surveillance data with human H7N9 notifications as an early warning of the timing and areas at risk for human infection. The findings also highlight areas in China where monitoring of poultry movement and poultry infections could be prioritized.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Springer Nature
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