China reports 21 H7N9 infections

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Three more H7N9 infections were reported in China on April 7, 2013, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 21.

Many local governments in China have banned live poultry trade outside the market and unlicensed butchering of poultry. 

The latest confirmed H7N9 case was reported in east China's Anhui Province. A 55-year-old male working in live poultry trade was diagnosed with the virus.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDCP) diagnosed the patient, surnamed Li, positive of the H7N9 avian influenza virus on Sunday.

Li is currently in stable condition and 12 others who have had close contact with the patient have not shown any signs of infection so far, according to local health department.

Before Li's case of H7N9 was confirmed, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) reported that there were a total of 20 H7N9 cases across the country as of 5 p.m.

So far, six people died of the H7N9 flu in China.

Governments at provincial levels across the country have reinforced efforts in their fights with the disease, even if there are no such reports in some regions.

Authorities in Shanghai have placed 194 people who had close contact with the 10 infected people under medical observation. Two have exhibited symptoms, although bird flu has been ruled out as the cause of their illness.

To prevent the spread of the virus, Shanghai authorities have ordered the slaughter of 98,000 poultry and incinerated them, according to the municipal agriculture commission.

In Beijing, where there is no H7N9 case reported so far, the authorities have banned all live poultry trade outside the market and unlicensed butchering of poultry.

The government of south China's Guangdong Province has earmarked an initial 30 million yuan (4.76 million U.S. dollars) as fund for the prevention and control of the disease as well for aiding infected patients in poverty.

Testing reagents for the H7N9 avian influenza virus have been distributed to 409 flu monitoring sites across the country, according to a statement by the CCDCP.

The center has also provided major infectious disease hospitals and research agencies with testing materials and has provided instructions for conducting the tests, it said.

The center said it has participated in a series of teleconferences organized by WHO headquarters and has reported on the H7N9 infection situation in China in a timely manner.

The center is also maintaining communication with health authorities in the United States and other countries regarding technical cooperation.

On Saturday, China approved a new drug believed to be effective in treating the H7N9 avian flu virus.


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