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Avian Influenza (H7N9) Virus Infection in Chinese Tourist in Malaysia, 2014 - Volume 21, Number 1—January 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

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Avian Influenza (H7N9) Virus Infection in Chinese Tourist in Malaysia, 2014 - Volume 21, Number 1—January 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC


Volume 21, Number 1—January 2015


Avian Influenza (H7N9) Virus Infection in Chinese Tourist in Malaysia, 2014

Timothy William, Bharathan Thevarajah, Shiu Fee Lee, Maria Suleiman, Mohamad Saffree Jeffree, Jayaram Menon, Zainah Saat, Ravindran Thayan, Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, and Tsin Wen YeoComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (T. William, J. Menon)KPJ Specialist Hospital, Kota Kinabalu (B. Thevarajah, S.F. Lee); Sabah State Health Department, Kota Kinabalu (M. Suleiman, M.S. Jeffree)Institute of Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Z. Saat, R. Thayan)National University of Singapore, Singapore (P.A. Tambyah)Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (T.W. Yeo)Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore (T.W. Yeo)Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia (T.W. Yeo)


Of the ≈400 cases of avian influenza (H7N9) diagnosed in China since 2003, the only travel-related cases have been in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Detection of a case in a Chinese tourist in Sabah, Malaysia, highlights the ease with which emerging viral respiratory infections can travel globally.
Human infection with avian influenza (H7N9) virus was first reported from China in 2013 (1). Since then, ≈400 cases have been diagnosed in China and some in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Most patients were older adults with severe community-acquired pneumonia; risk for admission to an intensive care unit is 83%, and risk for death is 27%–36% (2,3). We report avian influenza (H7N9) virus infection outside greater China, in a Chinese tourist visiting Sabah, Malaysia.

Dr. William is an infectious diseases physician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. His research interests are the epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, pathophysiology, and management of malaria caused by Plasmodium knowlesi.


We thank the Director General of Health, Malaysia, for permission to publish this report and Makmal Kesihatan Awam for providing and allowing us to publish the results of the investigation of possible contacts. We also thank Anupama Vasudevan for assistance with preparation of the figure.


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Suggested citation for this article: William T, Thevarajah B, Lee SF, Suleiman M, Jeffree MS, Menon J, et al. Avian influenza (H7N9) virus infection in Chinese tourist in Malaysia, 2014. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2015 Jan [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2101.141092
DOI: 10.3201/eid2101.141092

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