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China confirms tenth human H5N1 infection
By admin on 2014-12-02

BEIJING, Jan. 24 -- China's Ministry of Health yesterday announced one more human case of bird flu, bringing the tally up to 10 cases.

The infected person is a 29-year-old woman surnamed Cao from Jinhua Town of Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, said a report released by the ministry. She has been hospitalized in Chengdu and is in critical condition.

Coinciding with the news, the country's veterinary workers were urged not to relax their containment efforts during the coming Spring Festival when a supply of safe poultry must be ensured.

"We must see clearly the severe situation during Spring Festival and always put people's health and safety first," Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu said in Beijing yesterday, one week before the traditional Chinese gala.

Hui, also chief of the national bird flu control headquarters, said consumption of fowls and their products will soar during Spring Festival and early spring, when the transfer of poultry will be more frequent, and the migratory birds begin their journey north.

Earlier, the country's Chief Veterinary Officer Jia Youling said winter and spring are the peak seasons for bird flu, and 60 per cent of China's domestic birds are raised on backyard farms with inadequate management, which makes epidemic prevention difficult.

The country reported 32 outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu last year. All the epidemic sites had ended quarantine isolation by January 3, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Despite the achievements, containment workers are facing new challenges, and no one can afford to relax their efforts, Hui told the meeting on the prevention and control of avian influenza.

During the week-long holidays, there must be people on duty to deal with any emergencies and to ensure the smooth flow of information, he said.

Supervisors must make sure vaccination, monitoring and disinfection measures are implemented conscientiously and all hidden perils are eliminated, he said.

To prevent human infection of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, screening of suspicious pneumonia cases and training of contingency squads must be strengthened, the vice-premier said.

China has reported 10 human cases of bird flu. Six of them died.

The eighth case, a 6-year-old boy surnamed Ouyang who was confirmed to have contracted the disease on January 9 in Central China's Hunan Province, is recovering at a local hospital, Xinhua reported on Saturday.

But bird flu control is just one side of the coin. As poultry is almost an indispensable cuisine for traditional Chinese festivals, the vice-premier also called for solid work to monitor the market supply of poultry products for reliable quality and safety.

Quarantine and inspection must be enhanced to guarantee that all products are up to standards. Anyone who averts quarantine or is involved in the transferring, processing and marketing diseased and dead animals and poultry products must be penalized.

In addition, there should be more publicity to promote consumption of bird products, he said.

Sales of eggs and other poultry products have picked up as the Lunar New Year draws near.

In Nanchang, capital of East China's Jiangxi Province, sales of eggs have increased by 20 per cent each month to reach 20 tons a day, according to the municipal bureau of statistics.

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