China confident it can control bird flu outbreak

BEIJING Mon Apr 8, 2013 10:07am IST

A vendor throws a chicken into a bucket in the process of slaughtering them at a poultry market in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 6, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

A vendor throws a chicken into a bucket in the process of slaughtering them at a poultry market in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is confident it can control an outbreak of a new strain of bird flu, a senior Chinese health official said on Sunday as the World Health Organization (WHO) said there had now been 21 human cases of the H7N9 flu with six deaths.

China has said it is mobilising resources nationwide to combat the new strain, monitoring hundreds of close contacts of confirmed cases and culling tens of thousands of birds where traces of the virus were found.

"We are confident we can effectively control it (H7N9)," the head of China's National Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin told Reuters on the sidelines of a World Health Organization-backed event in Beijing.

Li did not elaborate, but she is the most senior Chinese health official yet to publicly comment on the subject.

In an update from its headquarters in Geneva, the WHO said more than 530 close contacts of the 21 people now listed as confirmed cases are being closely monitored for any signs of similar disease.

"At this time there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission," it said.

The bird flu outbreak has caused global concern and some Chinese internet users and newspapers have questioned why it took so long for the government to announce the new cases, especially as two of the victims fell ill in February.

The government has said it needed time to correctly identify the virus.

The WHO's representative to China, Dr. Michael O'Leary, repeated that no evidence of transmission between humans has been found and praised China for its efforts to determine the source of the virus.

"I'm very impressed with the action of the laboratories in this regard," O'Leary said at a World Health Day event in the Chinese capital.

"China is demonstrating their ability to get on top of this problem quickly," he said.

In 2003, authorities initially tried to cover up an epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in China and killed about 10 percent of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide.

Other strains of bird flu, such as H5N1, have been circulating for many years and can be transmitted from bird to bird, and bird to human, but not generally from human to human. (Reporting by Michael Martina in Beijing and Kate Kelland in London, Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Jason Webb)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Popularity Poll

REUTERS SHOWCASE

New Adviser

New Adviser

Arvind Subramanian likely to be chief econ adviser.  Full Article 

Royalty Rates

Royalty Rates

India to hike iron ore royalty, miners may struggle to pass on extra cost.  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Gold near two-month low; set for weekly drop on interest rate fears  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Apple iPhone 6 screen snag leaves supply chain scrambling   Full Article 

Helping Regional Mills

Helping Regional Mills

Govt raises sugar import duty to 25 pct from 15 pct.  Full Article 

Curbing Risks

Curbing Risks

RBI to lower ceiling on bank loans to a single corporate group.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage