More cases of H7N9 re­ported in Beijing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@chi­

Twenty-seven cases of hu­man H7N9 have been re­ported to author­i­ties in Beijing so far this year, the Beijing Cen­ter for Dis­ease Prevention and Con­trol said on Tues­day.

Of the 13 cases con­tracted in the city of Beijing it­self, six peo­ple have died, six were cured and one is un­der­go­ing med­i­cal treat­ment, Pang Xinghuo, deputy di­rec­tor of the cen­ter, said at a news con­fer­ence.

Most of the other cases were con­tracted in ar­eas neigh­bor­ing Beijing. Of those, 11 were cured and three are un­der­go­ing treat­ment, he said.

The cen­ter said no ap­par­ent mu­ta­tion has been de­tected in the virus and no hu­man-to-hu­man trans­mis­sion of the dis­ease has been re­ported in Beijing, so the pub­lic need not panic.

“The num­ber of H7N9 cases in China is higher than usual, and Beijing is no ex­cep­tion,” Pang said. “The peo­ple were in­fected through poul­try, but there have been no con­cen­trated out­breaks in Beijing.”

China saw its big­gest H7N9 out­break over the past win­ter since the virus was first re­ported in China in 2013. A to­tal of 352 hu­man cases of H7N9 were re­ported in the first two months of this year, with 140 deaths, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion. By com­par­i­son, 57 cases were re­ported in the first two months of 2016, the com­mis­sion said.

Twelve H7N9 cases were re­ported be­tween June 2 and 8 in nine pro­vin­cial re­gions in China, and the num­ber of new cases re­mained low for three con­sec­u­tive weeks, the com­mis­sion said last month. There is no ev­i­dence that the virus is be­com­ing more in­fec­tious to hu­mans, it said.

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture an­nounced in June that South China’s Guang­dong prov­ince and the Guangxi Zhuang au­tonomous re­gion — two ma­jor cen­ters for the poul­try trade in China — had been cho­sen as pi­lot re­gions where all chick­ens, ducks and geese will re­ceive vac­cines against the H7N9 virus. Vet­eri­nary author­i­ties of the two re­gions may start ad­min­is­ter­ing vac­ci­na­tions in July, mon­i­tor the side ef­fects and re­port the find­ings to the min­istry, it said.

The Beijing Cen­ter for Dis­ease Prevention and Con­trol said res­i­dents should con­tinue to take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures to pre­vent in­fec­tion, such as avoid­ing con­tact with live poul­try and cook­ing eggs and meat thor­oughly, even though the dis­ease is less likely to show up in sum­mer.

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