Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - Page 5 News List

CDC says human H7N9 cases reach 200, most in China

Staff writer, with CNA

The number of confirmed human cases of H7N9 avian influenza has reached 200 since October last year, the majority of which were in China, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Monday.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said that the H7N9 strain was first reported in late March last year.

There was a lull and then the second wave of cases began in October, with Hong Kong and Taiwan each reporting imported cases, bringing the total number to 200, Chou said.

Most of the second-wave cases came from Zhejiang Province in China (85), while Guangdong Province reported 60 cases, China’s Fujian Province had 15 cases and Jiangsu Province had 12.

The remaining cases came from Shanghai, the provinces of Hunan, Guangxi, Guizhou and Anhui, as well as Beijing and Hong Kong.

The Mainland Affairs Council issued a yellow alert on Monday for travel to Anhui, which recently reported a new H7N9 fatality.

It said the move was in line with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s decision to include Anhui into its own orange alert area.

Yellow is the second-highest level on the council’s three-color scale.

The council said people who must travel to Beijing should avoid direct contact with birds or poultry.

Taiwanese should weigh whether to travel to the province, and if they do so, should carefully monitor their health.

The council said Anhui has reported fresh cases since October last year, showing that the risk remains there.

The Central Epidemic Command Center has advised travelers to China to avoid markets where live poultry is sold, or coming in contact with wild birds, and at all times to avoid uncooked meat and eggs.

It also advises travelers to practice good personal hygiene, including frequent hand-washing.

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