Mon, May 06, 2013 - Page 8 News List

H7N9 and the flow of information

By Liu Ching-ming 劉競明

However, it does not stop there — we should also add viruses to the list.

And what about China? The thousands of dead pigs that were recently discovered floating down the Huangpu River in Shanghai and the heavy air pollution blanketing Beijing a few months ago show that cleanliness and public health in many Chinese cities have been almost completely neglected. The H7N9 outbreak that China is experiencing reflects the fact that many cities in China and the sanitary habits of their inhabitants are also “dirty and disorganized.”

China’s “Golden Week,” a semi-annual seven-day national holiday, has started and at this time there are two vital questions we should be asking.

First, we should ask whether cases of H7N9 infection will reach a new peak as contact between people from China and Taiwan increases and second, whether our health authorities can work harder to get Chinese health authorities to be more transparent with information obtained via their research on H7N9 and let the public know exactly what is going on.

Liu Ching-ming is an attending physician and assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.

Translated by Drew Cameron

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