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Clinical guidance on avian influenza A(H7N9) virus now available

The Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada (AMMI Canada) has developed interim guidance on the use of antiviral drugs to treat avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. The goal is to help ensure that front-line clinicians have access to necessary information should the novel virus emerge in Canada.

Interim Guidance for Antiviral Prophylaxis and Treatment of Influenza Illness due to Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus provides information on the use of antiviral drugs to prevent and clinically manage influenza-like illnesses that are either suspected or laboratory confirmed to be due to infection by avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

The information is now available on the AMMI Canada web site. It can also be accessed via the Public Health Agency of Canada's web site (under Emerging Respiratory Pathogens), along with other resources concerning the A(H7N9) virus, and information on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

The first three cases of A(H7N9) infection were reported in China March 31, 2013. Infection has occurred mostly in patients who have had known or suspected contact with infected birds, chiefly poultry. The AMMI Canada paper says that sustained human-to-human transmission has not been documented to date.

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