Earth Science News  





. China steps up checks after bird flu death

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 7, 2009
Chinese authorities said Wednesday they had ordered stepped-up health checks for bird flu across the country and heavier monitoring at some poultry markets after a woman died of the virus in Beijing.

The death on Monday of the 19-year-old was China's first in nearly a year, highlighting the increased risk of the H5N1 virus during winter.

Authorities in Beijing's neighbouring Hebei province disinfected the market where the woman, Huang Yanqing, on December 19 reportedly bought nine ducks suspected of being the source of her infection, Xinhua news agency reported.

Four live poultry sellers there were also shut down, it added.

Beijing authorities also ordered stepped-up monitoring of the live poultry trade in the Chinese capital, with experts inspecting slaughterhouses and poultry farms, a city government statement said.

Similar measures had been ordered in the municipality of Tianjin, also near Beijing, Xinhua reported.

Health ministry officials also told AFP that healthcare personnel nationwide were being instructed to watch for and report any bird flu-like symptoms.

Initial symptoms include a high fever, often accompanied by influenza signs such as diarrhoea and vomiting, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Authorities in Hebei's Sanhe city, where the market was located, have also examined 15 people involved in the poultry trade, inspected farms and checked on all local cases of fever, the city government said in a statement.

"So far, nothing unusual has been found," said the statement faxed to AFP.

Huang, who lived in Beijing, apparently contracted the disease on December 24 after cleaning the internal organs of the ducks.

Contact with infected poultry or surfaces and objects contaminated by their faeces is considered the main route of human infection, according to the WHO.

Xinhua has said 116 people -- 14 of Huang's relatives and 102 medical workers -- had come in contact with her and that one, a nurse, had contracted a fever but recovered.

Huang's death was the first from the virus in China since a woman died in the south of the country last February.

The WHO said on Tuesday there was no immediate fear of a wider outbreak.

"We are concerned by any case of human H5N1 infection," a statement by the WHO's China office said.

"However, this single case, which appears to have occurred during the slaughtering and preparation of poultry, does not change our risk assessment."

Authorities in Vietnam also announced Tuesday an eight-year-old girl had tested positive for H5N1 in the north of the country.

H5N1 bird flu has now killed 248 people since it re-appeared in Asia in 2003, according to the WHO. Twenty-one of the deaths have been in China.

Scientists fear the virus could eventually mutate into a form more easily transmissible between humans, triggering a global pandemic.

earlier related report
Bird flu re-emerges in China and Vietnam, one dead
Bird flu re-emerged as a threat in Asia on Tuesday when China reported the disease killed a woman in Beijing and neighbouring Vietnam said a girl had contracted the virus.

The cases are the first involving humans in the two countries in nearly a year, and mark a reappearance of the H5N1 virus as Asia moves into the cold winter months that typically favour the spread of the virus.

The case in the Chinese capital saw a 19-year-old woman, Huang Yanqing, die on Monday after she fell ill on December 24, the Beijing Health Bureau said.

Huang apparently contracted the disease after she cleaned the internal organs of some ducks she had bought in neighbouring Hebei province, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

Contact with infected poultry or surfaces and objects contaminated by their faeces, is considered the main route of human infection, according to the World Health Organisation.

Xinhua reported that 116 people had been in close contact with Huang and that one, a nurse, had contracted a fever but recovered.

Huang's death was the first in China since a woman died of the disease in southern China last February.

However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said there was no immediate cause for alarm.

"We are concerned by any case of human H5N1 infection. However, this single case, which appears to have occurred during the slaughtering and preparation of poultry, does not change our risk assessment," a statement by the WHO's China office said.

In Vietnam, authorities reported an eight-year-old girl had tested positive for H5N1 in the north of the country where the virus struck poultry flocks recently amid cold and wet weather.

The girl in Thanh Hoa province fell ill with serious pneumonia on December 27 after eating poultry and was admitted to a provincial hospital on January 2, local officials said, although they added she was recovering well.

Nguyen Huu Dinh, head of the provincial animal health department, said infected poultry had been detected in the area and that all had been killed, without specifying how many.

The virulent H5N1 strain killed five people in Vietnam in early 2008, but no new human deaths had been reported since March.

It killed three people in China in the first two months of last year.

H5N1 bird flu has killed 247 people since it re-appeared in Asia in 2003, according to the latest tally on the WHO's website, which did not include Monday's fatality in China.

Scientists fear the virus could eventually mutate into a form more easily transmissible between humans, triggering a global pandemic.

China is regarded as a potential bird flu flashpoint because it has the world's largest number of poultry, with tens of millions of chickens reared in densely populated areas.

A total of 21 people in China have now died of the disease since 2003. Another 10 contracted it but survived.

There had been no reported outbreaks in Beijing poultry recently but the disease did surface in an eastern Chinese province last month.

More than 370,000 chickens were culled in Jiangsu province in December after infected chickens were found there.

In areas of northern Vietnam that border China, authorities have reported bird flu in three poultry flocks since late December, leading to the slaughter of hundreds of ducks and thousands of chickens.

Vietnam has issued a nationwide bird flu alert, urging stepped-up detection and epidemic control measures.

Winter is considered a higher-risk period for bird flu due to cooler weather and higher poultry consumption during New Year holidays.

"This is the high-risk season because it's cold and the Tet lunar New Year is coming up in Vietnam," said Jeff Gilbert, senior technical bird flu advisor in Vietnam for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.

"China has the (Lunar) New Year coming up, so the situation would be the same."

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Death toll in Zimbabwe cholera epidemic at 1,732: WHO
Geneva (AFP) Jan 6, 2009
At least 1,732 people have died in Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic and the number of cases diagnosed has risen to 34,306, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Search halted, dozens still missing after deadly Guatemala landslide
  • Thousands flood refugee camps after strong Indonesia quakes
  • 33 dead in Guatemala landslide: rescue workers
  • New Study Examines Effects Of South Carolina Chlorine Gas Disaster

  • Australian military warns of climate conflict: report
  • Global Warming Aided By Drought, Deforestation Link
  • Some Climate Impacts Happening Faster Than Anticipated
  • Erratic weather hurts Britain's wildlife

  • Malaysia uses satellite to fight illegal logging: report
  • India To Launch Own Online Earth Browser Dubbed Bhuvan
  • New Satellite Data Reveal Impact Of Olympic Pollution Controls
  • Infoterra Supports Mapping For Dakar Rally With ERDAS Software

  • Japan says 'cannot accept' Chinese gas development
  • Foundation turns rubbish into legs for Thailand's needy
  • Warmer light from OLEDs
  • China's oil experts start work on Iraqi field

  • China steps up checks after bird flu death
  • Death toll in Zimbabwe cholera epidemic at 1,732: WHO
  • Bacteria could limit dengue spread
  • Red Cross deploys more teams to fight cholera in Zimbabwe

  • Asian, US police meet on tackling wildlife crime
  • Pink iguanas discovered on Galapagos Islands
  • Protea Plants Help Unlock Secrets Of Species Hotspots
  • Quiet Bison Sire More Calves Than Louder Rivals

  • 1 in 5 considering leaving Hong Kong due to pollution: survey
  • Hong Kong air pollution worst since records began: official data
  • Thousands rally against Samsung over SKorea's worst oil spill
  • Report: EPA allows chemical secrecy

  • How Neanderthal Got Whacked By Modern Humans
  • Proposed Texas science curriculum released
  • Competition may have done in Neanderthals
  • Sleep pods offer respite from HK's frantic pace of life, work

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement