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Human infections of H7N9 surge in dozens of regions in China


01-19-2015 13:00 BJT

The H7N9-strain of avian flu in China has seen a surge in southern and eastern regions since the start of the new year. Health authorities have warned that the whole nation has entered a high-incidence period for bird flu. This occurs in winter and spring, when there are high risks for human infections.
Dozens of southern and eastern regions in China have raised their response levels from low to high.

In east China's Fujian Province, two patients infected with H7N9 died in Fuzhou on Friday, and another patient in Xiamen died on Tuesday.

In total, 15 cases have been confirmed in the province since the beginning of the year,

Health authorities in Xiamen said they were closely monitoring the patients while enhancing measures to control the outbreak.

In Shanghai Municipality, two human H7N9 cases were reported this winter.

To prevent the flu's spread, Shanghai has closed two large live poultry markets and urged locals to take necessary precautions.

Venders and customers began to choose frozen meats, saying they understand the government's move to prevent the virus from spreading among human beings.

Further south, in Guangdong Province, two patients have been infected with H7N9 bird flu, one of whom has recovered.

A series of human infections has led to the culling of thousands of chickens in Guangdong and Hong Kong since the start of this year. Most bird flu cases in humans come from exposure to infected poultry.

Food safety authorities in Guangdong said Sunday that they would expand restrictions on live poultry sales that so far only apply to some parts of the cities of the province.

China's health authorities have called for strengthened monitoring over the H7N9 virus in schools, kindergartens and other public facilities, as well as monitoring of poultry cultivation workers.

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