October 1, 2016

Six More Cases of H7N9 Bird Flu in China

According to the Shanghai Daily, six more human cases of laboratory confirmed H7N9 bird flu have been reported in China. Two cases are in Shanghai and two more are in southern China. It is not clear if the patients had contact with live poultry. Three of the patients are hospitalized in serious or critical condition. Last year, the government ordered 110 live poultry markets closed to try to prevent the spread of this illness. Now all live poultry markets in Shanghai are going to close at the end of January in response to this new outbreak. Two more cases of H7N9 have been confirmed in Guangdong Province. Both of those patients did have contact with live poultry. Two people have died in this new outbreak which started in August 2013. This strain of the bird flu emerged in China … [Read more...]

New Positive Test for H7N9 Bird Flu in China

According to reports from the Xinhua news agency, a new positive test of the H7N9 bird flu was taken as an environmental sample at a live poultry market in southern China. That country has banned the sale of live birds in 110 markets around the country. The sample was taken from the Nanchao Market in the Doumen District of Zhuhai City in Guangdong Province. Last month a woman tested positive for the H7N9 virus, also called avian influenza A. She also lived in Guangdong and died from her illness. That strain of bird flu is new in human beings. Six cases of the H7N9 virus in humans have been confirmed in that province since August 2013.¬†Local agricultural, health, and forestry officials are being urged to test local markets and encourage daily disinfection of the poultry … [Read more...]

China Developing Five Year Policy to Control Bird Flu Outbreaks

Chinese officials are trying to control bird flu outbreaks by occasionally suspending live poultry trading in 110 of the country's poultry markets. The first suspension will be January 31, 2014 and will last until April 30, 2014. Last year, an outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu in China sickened 134 people and killed 43 in that country. In April 2013, all live poultry markets were shut down in Shanghai. That ban was lifted in June 2013. Any violators of this ban will be fined thousands of dollars. Poultry from other cities and provinces must go through designated slaughterhouses and can't be sold at the local markets. Experts say that the H7N9 virus may recur. So far this autumn, there have been five cases of the bird flu in humans beings on the mainland. There have not been verified … [Read more...]

WHO Updates H7N9 Outbreak in China

The World Health Organization updated the status of the avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in China yesterday. The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China notified WHO of an additional fifteen lab-confirmed cases of the virus. Three additional deaths were reported. To date, there are 102 lab confirmed cases, including 20 deaths. Sixty-seven patients are hospitalized and seven have been discharged. There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission so far, even though 40% of the patients had no contact with live poultry. Wild bird sales have been suspended in the country, and a ban on live poultry trading where the illnesses have occurred is in place. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released an FAQ on the illness last week. They recommend that … [Read more...]

U.S. and Canadian Governments Issue Statements on H7N9 Flu Virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention¬†(CDC) in the United States and the Public Health Agency of Canada have each released a statement about the H7N9 bird flu in China. Public health officials are trying to reassure citizens that the flu is not a serious threat at this time. The CDC states that no sustained person-to-person spread of the H7N9 virus has been found at this time. This non-human virus does have the potential to become a pandemic if it were to evolve, but the virus doesn't have that capability for now. Public health officials in the U.S. are developing a candidate vaccine virus to make a vaccine if it is needed. The CDC has posted a Traveler's Health Notice for anyone traveling to China. Canadian health authorities say that the strain of avian influenza causing … [Read more...]

New Strain of Bird Flu in China Increases Worry

A new strain of bird flu has appeared in China. The virus, H7N9, has killed six people in that country and infected 21 so far. McDonald's in Shanghai has cut the price of its chicken McNuggets in half in the past few days. And China's airlines are no longer serving chicken to passengers. Consumers there are worried that the outbreak may have infected the city's poultry market. The virus has evolved to infect people. I talked to Dr. O. Peter Snyder about the bird flu and poultry products a few years ago. He said, "the bird flu will have an effect on chicken consumption, and for a while, people will be fearful and eat less chicken. Then, people will realize it doesn't hurt the ordinary citizen and we will eat as much chicken as ever." This has been verified by public health … [Read more...]

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