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Background:Mainland China has experienced five epidemics of human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infection since 2013. We conducted a prospective study to assess long-term clinical, pulmonary function testing, and chest computed tomography (CT) imaging findings after patients were discharged from hospital. Methods:A(H7N9) survivors in five provinces and one municipality underwent follow-up visits from August 2013 to September 2018, at three, six, and 12 months after illness onset, and a subset was also assessed at 18 and 64 months after onset. Thirteen patients were enrolled from the first A(H7N9) epidemic in 2013, 36 from the 2013-2014 second epidemic, and 12 from the 2016-2017 fifth epidemic. At each visit, A(H7N9) survivors received a medical examination, including the mMRC (modified Medical Research Council) dyspnea scale assessment, chest auscultation, pulmonary function testing and chest CT scans. Findings:The median age of 61 A(H7N9) survivors was 50 years. The cumulative rate of pulmonary dysfunction was 38·5% and 78·2% for chest CT scan abnormalities at the end of follow-up. Restrictive ventilation dysfunction was common during follow-up. Mild dyspnea was documented at three to 12-month follow-up visits. Interpretation:Patients who survived severe illness from A(H7N9) virus infection had evidence of persistent lung damage and long-term pulmonary dysfunction. Funding:National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (grant number 81525023); Program of Shanghai Academic/Technology Research Leader (grant number 18XD1400300); National Science and Technology Major Project of China (grant numbers 2017ZX10103009-005, 2018ZX10201001-010).

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100282

Type

Journal

EClinicalMedicine

Publication Date

03/2020

Volume

20

Addresses

School of Public Health, Fudan University, Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety, Ministry of Education, Shanghai, China.