The story appears on

Page A3

February 17, 2017

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Authorities say spread of deadly bird flu is slowing

THE spread of a deadly strain of bird flu in China is slowing, health authorities said yesterday, as they vowed to battle the virus by tightening controls on markets and the transport of live poultry.

As many as 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu in January, the government has said, or up to four times more than the corresponding figure in previous years, raising fears that this season’s spread of the virus could be the worst on record.

Authorities have warned against panic and urged precautions.

Between Sunday and Tuesday this week, eight new human infections of H7N9 avian flu were reported, indicating the rate had slowed from the previous reporting period, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said.

From February 6 to February 12, 69 new cases, including eight deaths, had been reported, with just three of the 69 on Sunday.

To fight the spread, the commission is urging stronger monitoring, besides suspending or permanently closing live poultry markets and tightening curbs on transport.

“Once the virus is discovered, immediately investigate and take targeted measures to prevent the epidemic’s spread,” it advised.

The price of chicken has slumped in the world’s second largest poultry consumer.

The spread of the virus among fowl in China follows major outbreaks in poultry in South Korea and Japan.

Exposure to live poultry markets is the “crucial factor” in human infections, the health commission said, adding that the virus had not mutated to spread from human to human.

The greatest fear is that a deadly strain of avian flu could mutate into a pandemic form that can be passed easily between people.

The World Health Organization has said that it had not been able to rule out limited human-to-human spread in two clusters of China’s cases.

Though H7N9 has spread widely and early this year, most cases are confined to the same areas as in previous years, including the Yangtze River delta and the southern region of Guangdong, said influenza expert Shu Yuelong.

On Saturday, Beijing reported its first human H7N9 case this year, a 68-year-old man from Langfang in the neighboring province of Hebei. A second human case was reported on Tuesday.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend