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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

China reports first two human fatalities from H7N9

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carbon20 View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 23 2016 at 1:04pm

China reports first two human fatalities from bird flu this winter

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Two people in China's Anhui province have died from H7N9 bird flu, the first fatalities in China among this winter's cases, while Macau reported its first human H7N9 infection since the former Portuguese colony returned to China in 1999.

Anhui has reported five cases of H7N9 avian flu since Dec. 8, including the two people who died, the eastern province's health authority said in a statement dated Dec. 21, posted on its website.

It did not say whether the other three people had recovered or not.

Avian Bird Flu
NirutiStock | Getty Images

The Anhui cases bring the total number of people infected with the H7N9 virus in mainland China this month to at least seven.

H7N9 had not been detected in either humans or animals in China until March 2013.

The strain does not seem to transmit easily from person to person, and sustained human-to-human infection has not been reported, according to the World Health Organization.

The danger with any such virus is that it mutates and acquires genetic changes that might increase its pandemic potential.

The last major bird flu outbreak in mainland China - from late 2013 to early 2014 - killed 36 people and led to more than $6 billion in losses for the agricultural sector.

Health authorities in Shanghai said on Wednesday a man diagnosed with the H7N9 strain was being treated there, after travelling from the neighbouring province of Jiangsu.

Shanghai is China's biggest city with more than 24 million residents.

The local government in Jiangsu was looking into the origin of the infection, the provincial health authority said on Thursday.

Infected poultry

In Xiamen, a city in Fujian province also in the east, authorities ordered a halt to poultry sales from Thursday in the Siming district, after a 44-year-old man was diagnosed with H7N9 flu, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday. 

The patient was in hospital and was stable, Xinhua said then. The city has a population of about 3.5 million.

Hong Kong this week reported its first human bird flu infection for this season.

In Macau, health authorities will soon discharge a patient who contracted H7N9, following a quarantine period of about 10 days, said an official at the Macau Heath Bureau Services who only gave his surname Yang.

The patient, a man, had been in close contact with infected poultry, Yang told Reuters. He will be discharged on either Friday or Saturday.

Bird flu is most likely to strike in winter and spring.

Farmers have in recent years increased cleaning, animal detention techniques and built roofs to cover hen pens to prevent infection from wild birds, among other steps, in an effort to stop the disease.

In the past two months, more than 110,000 birds have been killed following bird flu outbreaks, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. They did not lead to human infection.

Authorities have not reported the culling of any birds this week.

The latest cases come as South Korea and Japan have ordered the killing of tens of millions of birds in the past month, fuelling fears of a regional spread.

12 monkeys!!!!!
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CRS, DrPH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 23 2016 at 1:40pm
Thanks!  I've moaned about this on AFT for years, here's a good read on it....the real problem for reassortment of H7N9 won't be bird-to-bird transmission (as intimated by the preceding article), but poultry to swine transmission from deliberate Chinese farming practices. 
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Carcasses also end up indirectly entering the food chain when they are used to feed other animals.


This happens in one of two ways: they are either sold to farmers raising foxes or marten for their fur; or, more dangerously, they are used to feed pigs. 


There is an east China avian hospital that dissects 25 to 50 kilograms of chicken every day to diagnose avian diseases. In the past they employed someone to take the carcasses out of the city and bury them, but now animal farmers buy them for pig feed at 0.8 yuan (US$0.10) a kilogram. 


As a consequence, the dead and dissected birds enter the food chain. This operation earns the hospital enough money that they will turn a blind eye to the meat’s destination.


https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/1096-The-truth-about-dead-chickens

CRS, DrPH
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carbon20 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 23 2016 at 2:47pm
thanks Doc, 

i never guessed that people would be stupid enough to feed dead virus ridden chickens,to pigs....

this of course opens up a very different way of reassortment,

can you image the mix of viruses going directly into the food chain,

especially if the fowels died of different viruses 

and came from different states/cantons/villages....

oh dear........
12 monkeys!!!!!
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