Information For Health Professionals on
Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9)
Ask patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) whether they have recent travel to China. Clinicians are reminded to consider influenza as a possible diagnosis when evaluating patients with acute respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia, even outside of the typical influenza season.
At this time, no cases of human infection with Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9) have been identified in the United States.
CDC: Interim Guidance on Case Definitions for Investigations of Human Infection with Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Virus in the United States
CDC Case Definitions.
Reporting, Specimen Collection, and Testing
- MDH has recently instituted year round RT-PCR testing on hospitalized patients with ILI or clinical suspicion of influenza regardless of exposure history. Because of the concern of Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9) we are also asking clinicians to inquire about recent (10 days or less) travel to China, and recent contact with a confirmed human case of infection with Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9). Hospitalized patients meeting this clinical and exposure criteria will take priority for testing at MDH-PHL; however, we are still requesting that specimens be submitted to MDH-PHL regardless of exposure history.
- Specimen Collection and Testing for Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9)
Process for specimen collection and testing for Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9)
- Commercially available rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) may not detect H7N9 virus in respiratory specimens.
Infection Prevention and Control
- Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for confirmed, probable or cases under investigation:
- Interim Guidance for Infection Control Within Healthcare Settings When Caring for Confirmed Cases, Probable Cases, and Cases Under Investigation for Infection with Novel Influenza A Viruses Associated with Severe Disease
- Please contact MDH at 651-201-5414 or 1-877-676-5414 for further infection prevention guidance if a hospitalized patient with influenza-like illness has a recent travel history to a country where H7N9 influenza is known to be circulating is identified.
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
- Health care facilities should perform environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures in accordance with procedures followed for seasonal influenza.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Ensure adherence to Standard Precautions, plus Contact and Airborne Precautions (including eye protection and use of respiratory protection for all patient-care activities)
- To date, Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9) is considered susceptible to antiviral agents oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).
- More information for health professionals regarding specimen collection, submission, and treatment for influenza.
Influenza Information for Health Professionals | Information For Health Professionals on Influenza A Variant Viruses H3N2v and H1N2v