Health authorities ordered medical staff to strengthen monitoring and prepare isolation units for possible new infections with H7N9 avian influenza, amid rumours that doctors had already found more cases in eastern China.
The Beijing city health bureau said it had added H7N9 to its watch-list of viral infections and had received reagent samples for testing patients after the virus, previously unreported in humans, killed at least two people in Shanghai.
The bureau asked hospitals in Beijing to prepare for emergencies and stockpile adequate medical supplies, adding that no infections were reported among the city’s 20 million people.
Similar measures were reportedly ordered in Shanghai and other major cities, as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
An unconfirmed hospital report posted on the popular, Twitter-like microblogging website Weibo said health experts in the eastern city of Nanjing, close to Shanghai, gave “preliminary confirmation” of H7N9 in a 45-year-old woman who worked as a poultry butcher.
The user of the micro blog posted a photograph of the hospital report and was listed as an “administrative director” of a hospital in Nanjing.
Concern was also raised after two sons of an 87-year-old Shanghai man who died of H7N9 were both treated for severe pneumonia, from which one of them died.
The government has so far reported only three confirmed infections.
The other two were a 27-year-old man who also died in Shanghai in early March, and a 35-year-old woman from nearby Anhui province who was in critical condition.
The World Health Organisation said it was in contact with the Chinese health authorities and was “following the event closely.”
“To date no epidemiological link between the (three) cases has been identified,” the organsation said.
They were the first H7N9 infections reported in humans worldwide, and there is no vaccination against the strain.Source: The Bangkok Post – China steps up H7N9 bird flu alert Related articles:
- Animal epidemics escalating in China, humans at risk (chinadailymail.com)
- 4th H7N9 case identified as Nanjing poultry market worker (wantchinatimes.com)
- China reports four more cases of new bird flu strain (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Unusual Bird Flu Cases Baffle Experts, China (medicalnewstoday.com)
- 4 more diagnosed with new bird flu virus in China (wireupdate.com)
- H7N9: Shanghai goes into emergency mode (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Nanjing poultry butcher fourth person infected with H7N9 bird flu (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- 4 more diagnosed with new bird flu virus in China (bnowire.com)
- China strengthens checks after H7N9 deaths (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Bird Flu Is Back In China, But This Time it’s H7N9 (healthland.time.com)
- H7N9: More details on the four new cases in Jiangsu (crofsblogs.typepad.com)