UN Says 'No Bird Flu Outbreak in China'

by Tanya Thomas on  February 8, 2009 at 7:53 AM Bird Flu News   - G J E 4
The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced on Friday that China had not detected any telltale signs of a bird flu outbreak among its poultry in the provinces where eight people were infected this year.
UN Says 'No Bird Flu Outbreak in China'
UN Says 'No Bird Flu Outbreak in China'

The FAO's senior technical adviser on bird flu in China, Vincent Martin, said Chinese authorities on Thursday reported to the agency the findings of extensive testing in the seven provinces.

"The Ministry of Agriculture in China has been extremely pro-active in investigating the situation in domestic poultry in provinces where these cases have occurred," Martin said.

"So far, despite a large number of samples from poultry being collected and laboratory tested, no evidence of infection in poultry has been found to explain these human cases."

Before meeting with Chinese agriculture ministry officials, Martin raised concerns about bird flu possibly circulating among poultry and said he was waiting for authorities to report the findings of their investigations to him.

The state-run China Daily newspaper also reported on Friday the agriculture ministry confirmed there had been no outbreaks of bird flu among poultry in China this year.

Eight people contracted the H5N1 bird flu virus in China this year - five of whom died - compared with just three cases in all of 2008.

A 29-year-old man who was infected last month in southwest Guizhou province was released from hospital Friday after more than three weeks of treatment, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The man, surnamed Zhou, has been in a stable condition for a few days and no longer has any symptoms of bird flu, Xinhua quoted local hospital chief Sun Zhaolin as saying.

Zhou was hospitalised on January 15 after buying and killing a duck from a local market, the report said. He tested positive for bird flu 10 days later.

Earlier this week, a three-year-old girl in northern China was discharged from hospital, becoming the youngest person in the nation to survive bird flu, authorities said. A 21-year-old woman in central Hunan is still being treated.

A total of 25 people have died from avian influenza in China since the disease re-emerged in 2003, according to World Health Organisation figures.

Source: AFP

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