Letters H7N9 outbreak in China

Web based surveillance systems could improve disease detection and the response to emerging disease events

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4276 (Published 16 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4276
  1. Gabriel J Milinovich, research officer1,
  2. Wenbiao Hu, senior research fellow1
  1. 1Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
  1. g.milinovich{at}uq.edu.au

The Chinese government should be commended for its open, concerted, and rapid response to the recent H7N9 influenza outbreak. However, the first known case was not reported until 48 days after disease onset.1 Although the difficulties in detecting the virus and the lack of suitable diagnostic methods have been the focus of discussion,2 systematic limitations that may have contributed to this delay have hardly been discussed. The detection speed …

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