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Experts call for H7N9 screening

04-07-2013 15:23 BJT

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By CCTV reporter Yang Xiaoting

Southern China’s Guangdong province has held an expert meeting on the current outbreak of the H7N9 virus. Experts have reiterated that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus. They say scientists are monitoring the situation to see if the outbreak poses a substantial risk to public health.

Health officials say people are contracting the virus through direct contact with infected fowl. Many places in China have now banned poultry trade. However, Zhong Nanshan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering says screening of the virus should not be limited to poultry.

He said, "Analysis shows that the H7N9 virus comes from fowl, including poultry, wild fowl migrating birds and pigeons. We should expand the range of screening as not so many people have direct contact with poultry."

He has reiterated that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus but calls for stricter monitoring of the strain. The World Health Organization says no vaccine is currently available for human infection with the H7N9 virus. China has said research and development of a vaccine could take up to 6 or 8 months. With this in mind, Zhong Nanshan says early appliance of a screening reagent is important.

"The earlier we use the screening reagent, the earlier we can detect the disease. This gives us more time to treat the condition and reduce the death rate," he said.

As fears increase over the latest outbreak of bird flu, many are queuing up for anti-flu drugs like Radix Isatidis. But Zhong Nanshan says there is no evidence of their effectiveness and urges against using drugs which are unproven in treating the H7N9 virus.


Editor:Zhou Minxi |Source:

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