Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Bird flu affecting half of China: ‘controllable’ but may spread.
Bird flu affecting half of China: ‘controllable’ but may spread further.National health commission puts provincial authorities on alert as the country grapples with its worst outbreak of the deadly bird flu strain. Chinese health authorities have issued stern warnings over the H7N9 bird flu outbreak in the last two days, admitting the situation had already affected half of the country and could lead to even more fatalities. Since January, human deaths and infections from H7N9 have been reported in 16 provinces and municipalities, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.While the situation was still “preventable and controllable”, the COMMISSION WARNED in a statement on Tuesday that if the situation was not tightly controlled the virus could spread further. The virus had killed at least 87 people by February 12, including 79 in January. It is the highest death toll since the first known human infection in 2013, and most of the cases have been in the Pearl and Yangtze River delta areas. In the previous three years, January’s death toll had ranged between 20 and 31. The commission’s statement came one day after it warned provincial health authorities across the country, including Xinjiang and Tibet, of the risks of the latest H7N9 outbreak. Local authorities were ordered to make “utmost effort” to contain the disease and minimise deaths. The World Health Organisation said there were no signs of sustained human-to-human transmission in bird flu cases this year, but it would remain “vigilant” over the puzzling outbreak in which affected poultry did not show any symptoms more