China to strengthen quake area H7N9 monitoring

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China will strengthen monitoring of H7N9 bird flu in the area hit by the the recent 7.0-magnitude earthquake, although no cases have been reported there, said the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) on Wednesday.

Liang Wannian, chief of the NHFPC's emergency response office, said so far there have been no reports of H7N9 human infections or suspected cases in the quake-hit area in the southeastern province of Sichuan. And there have likewise been no reports from agricultural departments about any H7N9 cases in the local poultry industry.

However, local bird flu cannot be ruled out in theory, warned Liang, who added that the commission will strengthen monitoring in the quake area, and will take measures as soon as possible in case of H7N9 being detected.

A total of 108 H7N9 cases have been reported in China, including 22 that have ended in death.

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