Fri, Apr 12, 2013 - Page 3 News List

H7N9 will not peter out soon: deputy minister

PREVENTION:Taiwan is to receive an H7N9 virus culture within a week to start making a vaccine against the new bird flu strain — a process estimated to take two months

Staff writer, with CNA

The new strain of H7N9 avian flu will not disappear any time soon, Department of Health Deputy Minister Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) said yesterday.

Although Taiwanese experts who recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Shanghai reportedly suggested that although a bird flu pandemic would not occur in the short term, the virus would not peter out soon either, Lin said at a meeting on prevention measures that was attended by officials from the department and the Council of Agriculture (COA).

According to media reports, the two epidemiologists, who concluded their five-day visit to Shanghai on Tuesday, predicted that Tuesday next week would be the crucial date to determine whether a halt to the sale of live fowl in the Chinese city has been effective in containing the H7N9 bird flu virus.

In response, Lin said the experts offered their views based on studies in three major markets in Shanghai, but he added that more research is needed in China’s Jiangsu Province and the city of Hangzhou, where cases have also been reported.

Another peak time for epidemic control is expected in September, when migratory birds start to fly south for the winter, Lin said.

Taiwan will receive an H7N9 virus culture within a week through multiple channels, including China, the WHO, the US and Japan, Lin said.

It will take two months to develop a vaccine from the culture, and up to six months to produce a vaccine from a wild virus, he said.

At the same meeting, COA Deputy Minister Wang Cheng-teng (王政騰) said that the council would ban the slaughter of live poultry in local markets if the H7N9 virus is found in live poultry here.

However, whether the ban will only be imposed in certain markets or will go into effect nationwide is to be decided by the scale of an outbreak, he said.

A higher alert level will be issued if the H7N9 virus is detected on poultry farms or among wild birds, he added.

Meanwhile, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday urged government agencies to tighten their disease control measures and provide the public with transparent information and health education regarding the virus.

He also advised Taiwanese traveling to China to exercise caution.Staff Writer, with CNA

The new strain of H7N9 avian flu will not disappear any time soon, Department of Health Deputy Minister Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) said yesterday.

Although Taiwanese experts who recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Shanghai reportedly suggested that although a bird flu pandemic would not occur in the short term, the virus would not peter out soon either, Lin said at a meeting on prevention measures that was attended by officials from the department and the Council of Agriculture (COA).

According to media reports, the two epidemiologists, who concluded their five-day visit to Shanghai on Tuesday, predicted that Tuesday next week would be the crucial date to determine whether a halt to the sale of live fowl in the Chinese city has been effective in containing the H7N9 bird flu virus.

In response, Lin said the experts offered their views based on studies in three major markets in Shanghai, but he added that more research is needed in China’s Jiangsu Province and the city of Hangzhou, where cases have also been reported.

Another peak time for epidemic control is expected in September, when migratory birds start to fly south for the winter, Lin said.

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