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H7N9 bird flu cases soar in China

By Queenie Wong

The H7N9 bird flu outbreak has killed 79 people in China this January, which was 16 times more of same period in last year.

5 people were died from H7N9 bird flu in last year January.

“The number of cases in this wave so far has been much higher than that in the same period last winter. This shows that the situation is abnormal. Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan also found cases imported from Guangdong,” a spokesman for the CHP said.


There were 21 deaths in the Jiangsu province, and the Hunan authorities have reported at least 5 deaths this year. An infant girl has died in Yunan province.

In response to the outbreak, poultry markets in several cities have been shut down, and the live poultry markets have been suspended in Changsha, Hunan and Zhejiang. The authorities are cracking down unauthorized poultry markets in Suning.

Hong Kong has recorded 2 human cases of death, one in December and the other in January. Both had travelled to mainland.

The most recent case was a 62-year-old man died last month after he went on a holiday to Zengcheng in Guangzhou in December.

Dr. Wong Ka-hing, controller of the Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong, said the peak of this wave has become more severe in the past and the authority was very concerned with the situation.

He also said Hong Kong had to be alert to the bird flu as many of the human cases took place in Guangdong which was very near Hong Kong.

A new bird flu test will be conducted in Hong Kong to prevent the spread of the virus. Samples will be taken in wet markets that sells live poultry.

The health officials will also closely monitor the 29 local licensed poultry farms.

Thomas Sit Hon-chung, assistant director of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, told the SCMP that if any samples tested positive, the government would stop market sales or suspend farm trading.

Click here for updated Avian Influenza report.

Photo credit: United Soybean Board on flickr

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