As Central Epidemic Command Center for H7N9 influenza is deactivated per Executive Yuan’s consent, Taiwan CDC continues to closely monitor H7N9 influenza activity


On April 15, 2014, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced that the Executive Yuan agreed to deactivate the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) for H7N9 influenza on April 11 and entrust the Executive Yuan’s Coordination Meeting for Avian Influenza and Major Zoonoses Control with the task of coordinating future H7N9 influenza control efforts to ensure the result of ongoing efforts and the health and wellbeing of the people in Taiwan.


Since the activation of CECC for H7N9 influenza on April 3, 2013, as of April 11, 2014, it has been in operation for 374 days. During this period, a total of 24 meetings were convened and the participants included representatives from 24 central government agencies such as the Council of Agriculture, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and the Ministry of Education, 22 city and county governments, as well as the regional commanding officers and deputy commanding officers of the Communicable Disease Control Network. One of the most important tasks accomplished in this past decade among all the surveillance activities and prevention and control efforts implemented by the aforementioned agencies and personnel in response to the H7N9 outbreak is the ban on the slaughtering of live poultry at traditional wet markets that became effective on May 17, 2013, which eliminated the risk of animal-to-human transmission of avian influenza.


Last year, on April 3, CECC for H7N9 influenza was activated in response to the H7N9 outbreak that began in China in the end of March 2013 and the Director-General of Taiwan CDC, Dr. Feng-Yee Chang, was appointed the Commander of CECC to coordinate cross-sector resources and personnel, command, lead, and supervise central and local government agencies in response to the outbreak. During the first H7N9 influenza wave (March and May, 2013), CECC for H7N9 influenza was able to quickly integrate cross-sector resources and implement response measures such as the ban on slaughtering of live poultry at traditional wet markets, while simultaneously reinforcing the disease surveillance reporting network, border quarantine measures, laboratory diagnostic capability, and hospital surge capacity. As a result, when the more severe second H7N9 influenza wave hit in October last year, CECC immediately further reinforced the implementation of the existing measures, which has effectively prevented the further spread of the disease. As of now, a cumulative total of 574 suspected H7N9 cases have been reported to Taiwan CDC and infection with avian influenza A (H7N9) has been confirmed in 2 imported cases (from Mainland China).


According to the World Health Organization, since April 14, 2013, a cumulative total of 420 H7N9 influenza infections have been confirmed around the world. All of the cases are either Chinese nationals or imported from China. Further, according to the WHO Risk Assessment of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus as of February 28, 2014, 80% of the cases were exposed to the H7N9 virus through contact with infected poultry or contaminated environments. Currently, there is no evidence that supports sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus. Nevertheless, the transmission of H7N9 influenza remains. As the second H7N9 influenza wave has been on decline, most recent cases are sporadic and the number of provinces and cities where cases are distributed has also decreased.



Regular operation mechanism will be adopted for all long-term efforts that address the prevention and control of H7N9 influenza. For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC’s website at or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Care Hotline, 1922, or 0800-001922 if calling from a cell phone.