Severity of H7N9 compared to other flu outbreaks

The H7N9 flu virus killed more than a third of people who were admitted into hospital, according to new estimates published in the Lancet today.

Researchers in China looked at data from hospital admissions to work out the severity of the illness. Their analysis puts a number of different flu outbreaks into context: H7N9 is less likely to kill you than H5N1, which killed about 60% of people in hospital, but more deadly than H1N1.

Data from China’s “sentinel surveillance network” also allowed the researchers, from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control in Beijing and University of Hong Kong, to work out the risk of dying for all those who are infected with N7N9. This fell to less than 3%. The researchers said that this showed how difficult it is to accurately measure how many people contract the virus but only suffer mild symptoms.

Read more at The University of Hong Kong