Earth Watch Report  –  Epidemic  Hazards

 

 

Published on Mar 31, 2013

Two people in Shanghai have died after being infected with H7N9 avian flu. A third person is in critical condition.

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China downplays new bird flu fears

todaysnewsvideos

Published on Mar 31, 2013

Two Shanghai men have died from a lesser-known type of bird flu in the first known human deaths from the strain, and Chinese authorities said Sunday that it wasn’t clear how they were infected, but that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

A third person, a woman in the nearby province of Anhui, also contracted the H7N9 strain of bird flu and was in critical condition, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a report on its website.

There was no sign that any of the three, who were infected over the past two months, had contracted the disease from each other, and no sign of infection in the 88 people who had closest contact with them, the medical agency said.

H7N9 bird flu is considered a low pathogenic strain that cannot easily be contracted by humans. The overwhelming majority of human deaths from bird flu have been caused by the more virulent H5N1, which decimated poultry stocks across Asia in 2003.

The World Health Organization is “closely monitoring the situation” in China, regional agency spokesman Timothy O’Leary said in Manila.

“There is apparently no evidence of human-to-human transmission, and transmission of the virus appears to be inefficient, therefore the risk to public health would appear to be low,” O’Leary said.

One of the two men from Shanghai, who was 87, became ill on Feb. 19 and died on Feb 27. The other man, 27, became ill on Feb. 27 and died on March 4, the Chinese health commission said. A 35-year-old woman in the Anhui city of Chuzhou became ill on March 9 and is being treated.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted tests and confirmed Saturday that all three cases were H7N9, the health commission said.

Scientists have been closely monitoring the H5N1 strain of the virus, fearing that it could mutate into a form that spreads easily among people, potentially sparking a pandemic. So far, most human cases have been connected to contact with infected birds.

 

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China bird flu: Two men die in Shanghai

BBC News

H5N1 Bird Flu virus
The H5N1 virus has caused more than 360 deaths since 2003

Two men have died in the Chinese city of Shanghai, after contracting a strain of bird flu not previously known in humans, Chinese officials say.

The men, aged 27 and 87, both fell ill with the H7N9 strain in February and died some weeks later in March, Xinhua news agency reported.

A woman of 35 who caught the virus elsewhere is said to be critically ill.

It is unclear how the strain spread, but the three did not infect each other or any close contacts, officials say.

While both men who died were in Shanghai, the third victim was reported in Chuzhou in the eastern province of Anhui.

According to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, all three became ill with coughs and fevers before developing pneumonia.

Commission experts said on Saturday the cause had been identified as H7N9, a strain of avian flu not thought to have been transmitted to humans before.

There is no vaccine against the strain, the commission said, adding it was currently testing to assess its ability to infect humans.

Another strain of bird flu, H5N1, has led to more than 360 confirmed human deaths since 2003 and the deaths of tens of millions of birds.

The World Health Organization says that most avian flu viruses do not infect humans and the majority of H5N1 cases have been associated with contact with infected poultry.

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