SHANGHAI, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Shanghai on Thursday closed a live poultry trading zone in an agricultural products market and began slaughtering all birds there after detecting H7N9 bird flu virus from samples of pigeon from the market.
Meanwhile, a person who had close contact with a dead H7N9 bird flu patient in Shanghai has been under treatment in quarantine after developing symptoms of fever, running nose and throat itching, the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission said late Thursday.
China's Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday it found the H7N9 virus from pigeon samples collected at the Huhuai wholesale agricultural products market in Songjiang district of Shanghai.
After gene sequence analysis, the national avian flu reference laboratory concluded that the strain of the H7N9 virus found on pigeons was highly congenetic with those found on persons infected with H7N9 virus, the ministry said.
The Shanghai municipal agricultural commission said it has ordered proper disposal of the culled birds, their excrements and contaminated food as well as disinfection of the market and vehicles that carried them and other things that have contacts with them.
The commission will also investigate and track where the pigeons came from, it said.
Meanwhile, the agency ordered the closure of the live poultry trading areas of two markets in Minhang district after samples there were found with H7 bird flu virus.
Shanghai reported two more deaths from the H7N9 bird flu Thursday,bringing the death toll from the new deadly strain to five around the country.
The city has reported six infections to date, and four have died, according to the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission.
Of the rest two, a 67-year-old woman was in critical condition and a four-year-old baby was recovering from mild illness, it added.
Of the latest two deaths, a 52-year-old woman surnamed Yu died at Huashan Hospital on Wednesday and was confirmed infected with the H7N9 strain on Thursday.
Yu developed a low fever on March 27 and sent to an intensive care unit of Huashan Hospital on April 2. She died on the following day.
The other case involved a 48-year-old man surnamed Chu, a poultry transporter from Rugao in neighboring Jiangsu Province.
He developed symptoms of cough on March 28. After having a fever on Monday, he went to a private clinic for treatment. The man then sought help in the Tongji Hospital in Shanghai in the early hours of Wednesday after his condition worsened.
Chu died three hours after being admitted to the hospital. He was confirmed infected with the H7N9 virus on Thursday. Eight people who had close contact with him have shown no abnormal symptoms.
So far, China has confirmed 14 H7N9 cases -- six in Shanghai, four in Jiangsu, three in Zhejiang and one in Anhui, in the first known human infections of the lesser-known strain. Of all, four died in Shanghai and one died in Zhejiang.
China's health authorities have promised transparency and cooperation to the World Health Organization in regards to human infections of the new strain of bird flu.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that no human-to-human transmission of H7N9 has been discovered and no epidemiological connection between these cases has been found.
Health authorities and hospitals in many Chinese provinces have been on high alert for the virus.
The health authorities in the southern Guangdong Province have set up an expert team headed by Zhong Nanshan, a renowned medical expert, to offer advices on epidemic control and prevention.
Zhong, director of the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases, is credited with helping to identify and then stem the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
In Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi Province, which neighbors Zhejiang, five hospitals have been selected and ordered to be ready to treat H7N9 patients, though no cases have been reported there.
South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has ordered an inventory on medical supplies and respirator deployment for potential H7N9 cases.
GENEVA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- No vaccine is currently available for human infection with influenza A (H7N9) virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday in its latest update on the outbreak of the deadly disease in China.
However, it said that preliminary test results provided by the WHO Collaborating Centre in China suggested that the virus is susceptible to the neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir). Full story
SHANGHAI, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Shanghai said Thursday night that another person has died from H7N9 bird flu, bringing the death toll from the new deadly strain to five around the country.
The city has reported six infections to date, and four have died, said the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission. Full story
BEIJING, April 4 (Xinhua) -- China's agricultural authorities said Thursday the infectious H7N9 avian flu virus has been detected from pigeon samples collected at a marketplace in Shanghai, as the country reported its fourth death from H7N9 infection.
The samples were collected at a marketplace selling agricultural products in the Songjiang District of Shanghai and tested H7N9 positive by the national avian flu reference laboratory, according to a statement by the Ministry of Agriculture. Full story
BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese public have been advised against slaughtering poultry for ancestral worship on the upcoming Tomb-Sweeping Day as authorities strengthen H7N9 bird flu control efforts after three deaths of the newly-found strain that has not previously been detected in humans.
The Tomb-Sweeping Day that falls on Thursday will be an occasion to commemorate the dead, when traditionally some southern Chinese regions have the convention of killing poultry for ancestral worship. Full story