So far, avian influenza A H7N9 hasn’t hit the United States, and it may never arrive. But that isn’t stopping health officials from closely watching the situation and preparing for it or a similar scenario, just in case.
The U.S. government declared last week that the flu strain, which has killed 31 people and infected 130 in China, poses significant potential for a public health emergency, especially with today’s lightning fast global travel.
“We’ve been watching it closely,” said Davis County Health Department epidemiologist Brian Hatch. “Basically you get this strain from exposure to birds and poultry, but what would be concerning is if the virus mutates and begins spreading person to person.”