Since March 2013, a novel influenza A(H7N9) virus has caused 3 epidemic waves of human infection in mainland China. We analyzed data from patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza A(H7N9) virus infection to estimate the risks for severe outcomes after hospitalization across the 3 waves. We found that hospitalized patients with confirmed infections in waves 2 and 3 were younger and more likely to be residing in small cities and rural areas than were patients in wave 1; they also had a higher risk for death, after adjustment for age and underlying medical conditions. Risk for death among hospitalized patients during waves 2 and 3 was lower in Jiangxi and Fujian Provinces than in eastern and southern provinces. The variation in risk for death among hospitalized case-patients in different areas across 3 epidemic waves might be associated with differences in case ascertainment, changes in clinical management, or virus genetic diversity.
Keywords: China; clinical severity; epidemiology; influenza; influenza A(H7N9); respiratory infections; viruses.