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EPIDEMICS
No new H7N9 cases in China for second week: government
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 27, 2013


China province to abolish teacher HIV tests: report
Beijing (AFP) May 28, 2013 - A Chinese province is likely to abolish mandatory HIV tests for teachers, the first region on the mainland to do so, state media said Tuesday.

HIV carriers are excluded from civil service jobs including teaching and policing in many provinces across China, leading to accusations of discrimination from rights groups.

But the state-run China Daily said that HIV tests had been removed from a draft list of health standards for teaching candidates in Guangdong, in the south of the country.

It quoted a lawyer as saying that people with HIV have filed an increased number of anti-discrimination lawsuits which have raised awareness of the issue, though most have been unsuccessful.

As of the end of 2011 there were an estimated 780,000 people with HIV/AIDS in China, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, out of the country's total population of about 1.35 billion.

The first 10 months of 2012 saw more than 34,000 new cases of AIDS reported in China, up 12.7 percent over the same period last year, the state-run Global Times reported, citing a health ministry report.

No new human cases of the deadly H7N9 bird flu strain were recorded in China for the second week in a row, national health authorities said Monday, suggesting the outbreak has slowed.

The total number of fatalities from the virus stands at 37, after one previously infected patient died in the week beginning May 20, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a statement.

But the total number of confirmed cases was unchanged at 130. Of those, 76 have recovered and been discharged from hospital, it said, adding that no evidence of human-to-human transmission had been detected so far.

One other case was recorded in Taiwan.

Experts fear the possibility of the virus mutating into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to trigger a pandemic.

Flu viruses are often seasonal and much of China is experiencing warmer weather following the end of winter.

But the world is not ready to deal with a major pandemic, the deputy head of the World Health Organization told a conference last week, despite efforts since an outbreak of another form of avian influenza, H1N1, in 2009-10.

"Even though work has been done since that time, the world is not ready for a large, severe outbreak," Keiji Fukuda said.

China was accused of covering up the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that killed about 800 people around the world a decade ago, but Chan thanked authorities for their close collaboration with the WHO over H7N9.

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