Avian Influenza A(H7N2) Virus in Human Exposed to Sick Cats, New York, USA, 2016

Atanaska Marinova-Petkova; Jen Laplante; Yunho Jang; Brian Lynch; Natosha Zanders; Marisela Rodriguez; Joyce Jones; Sharmi Thor; Erin Hodges; Juan A. De La Cruz; Jessica Belser; Hua Yang; Paul Carney; Bo Shu; LaShondra Berman; Thomas Stark; John Barnes; Fiona Havers; Patrick Yang; Susan C. Trock; Alicia Fry; Larisa Gubareva; Joseph S. Bresee; James Stevens; Demetre Daskalakis; Dakai Liu; Christopher T. Lee; Mia Kim Torchetti; Sandra Newbury; Francine Cigel; Kathy Toohey-Kurth; Kirsten St. George; David E. Wentworth; Stephen Lindstrom; C. Todd Davis


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2017;23(12):2046-2049. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


An outbreak of influenza A(H7N2) virus in cats in a shelter in New York, NY, USA, resulted in zoonotic transmission. Virus isolated from the infected human was closely related to virus isolated from a cat; both were related to low pathogenicity avian influenza A(H7N2) viruses detected in the United States during the early 2000s.


Avian influenza viruses occasionally cross the species barrier, infecting humans and other mammals after exposure to infected birds and contaminated environments. Unique among the avian influenza A subtypes, both low pathogencity and highly pathogenic H7 viruses have demonstrated the ability to infect and cause disease in humans.[1,2] In the eastern and northeastern United States, low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) A(H7N2) viruses circulated in live bird markets periodically during 1994–2006[3] and caused poultry outbreaks in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina in 2002.[4] During an outbreak in Virginia in 2002, human infection with H7N2 virus was serologically confirmed in a culler with respiratory symptoms.[5] In 2003, another human case of H7N2 infection was reported in a New York resident;[6] although the source of exposure remains unknown, the isolated virus was closely related to viruses detected in live bird markets in the region. Because of the sporadic nature of these and other zoonotic infections with influenza H7 viruses throughout the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended development of several candidate vaccine viruses for pandemic preparedness purposes, including 2 vaccines derived from North American lineage LPAI viruses, A/turkey/Virginia/4529/2002 and A/New York/107/2003.[7]