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Avian flu in China: guidance for health professionals

Clinical guidance for health professionals, to assess patients with severe flu-like illness who have recently visited China, is now available.

Public Health England (PHE) has produced clinical guidance for health professionals in England on the assessment and investigation of patients with severe flu-like illness who have recently (within seven days) returned from China.

The symptoms seen in these new cases of bird flu are similar to those seen in previous cases of avian flu. These include flu-like illness with high fever and cough which progresses to breathing difficulties, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Over 1,000 close contacts of confirmed cases of A/(H7N9) bird flu have been followed up and there is no evidence of person-to-person spread.

The risk to the UK from this type of avian flu A(H7N9) is currently seen as being low.

There have been cases of this type of avian flu (H7N9) reported from several provinces in China and there have been a small number of deaths. Information on this can be found on the World Health Organization and European Centre of Disease Control websites, or read a summary.

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