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No human infection of avian flu in Qinghai: official
www.chinaview.cn 2005-05-26 11:21:12

    XINING, May 26 (Xinhuanet) -- No human infection of avian flu or unexplained pneumonia case has been detected in northwest China's Qinghai Province and health departments are going all out to prevent a possible outbreak of bird flu, according to a local health official.

    Emergency measures have been taken by the provincial health authorities after Ministry of Agriculture investigators confirmed on Saturday that migratory birds found dead in Quanji Township of Gangca County had been killed by the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, said Ai Keyuan, an official with the provincial health bureau.

    Health departments in the provincial capital Xining and at least four prefectures have been mobilized. They have stepped up infectious disease control and prevention by closely monitoring and screening all pneumonia and flu-like cases among human beings,fowls and livestock, Ai told Xinhua in an interview Wednesday.

    Ai said hospitals in Gangca County, where the avian flu cases were reported, have opened up a separate outpatient department forfeverish patients alone. "The county's health department, meanwhile, is assisting the provincial disease control and prevention center in medical observations of people who had had close contacts with the birds," he added.

    Ai said his department is also helping local animal husbandry departments to sterilize the infected areas and properly dispose of birds' droppings.

    "All hospitals have been told to set up a task force and put aside medication and facilities for the treatment of any avian flucases that might be detected," he said.

    Qinghai Province took emergency measures by closing off some scenic spots to prevent people and poultry from contacting wild birds. Quarantine measures have also been adopted.

    The Ministry of Agriculture has told the public not to get too nervous but said monitoring for the epidemic and the early-warningsystem should be enhanced.

    The World Health Organization warned that the virus poses a great potential threat to humans if it develops the ability to spread easily from person to person. There is no evidence so far of such a change and most cases have been traced to contact with sick birds. Enditem

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