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Beijing Takes Tough Measures to Stop Virus

If you are a Beijing resident with a temperature of 38˚C or higher, and show other symptoms of flu after having close contact with infected poultry or human cases, you are required to undergo at least a week of medical observation.


Doctors in all the hospitals of the capital city yesterday were asked by the municipal health authority to report all cases showing the above-mentioned symptoms.


"Doctors should be responsible for not only the patients they have received, but also epidemic control as a whole," Jin Dapeng, director of Beijing Health Bureau under the municipal government, was quoted by the Beijing Times as saying.


Up till Friday, no poultry or human cases of bird flu have been reported in Beijing, although China has reported 13 poultry outbreaks and two human cases, in Hunan and Anhui.


All local governments have also been urged to give timely reports of poultry deaths, and hospitals have been asked to open hotlines for consultations or have been appointed as facilities for treating humans infected with the H5N1 strain.


Doctors who do not report suspected cases will be punished according to the relevant laws, Jin said.


Beijing has appointed two infectious disease hospitals to be ready for receiving and treating any possible human cases.


One of them, You'an Hospital, can establish special wards with 60 beds within four hours.


On Friday, no more human bird flu cases were detected in the country.


In Hunan Province, no "abnormal signs" were detected in 152 villagers who came in contact with a nine-year-old boy infected by the virus.


Experts had warned that human cases were inevitable if the government could not stop repeated epidemics among birds and poultry.


"Stopping the poultry epidemic spreading is still a very urgent task. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to prevent other new human outbreaks," Mao Qun'an, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, told China Daily.


(China Daily November 19, 2005)

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