Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

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18.05.2013 Biological Hazard China Multiple areas, [Provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hangzhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian and Capital City region] Damage level
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Biological Hazard in China on Sunday, 31 March, 2013 at 13:02 (01:02 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Saturday, 18 May, 2013 at 05:07 UTC
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Four more people have died from a new strain of bird flu in China, bringing the death toll from the H7N9 virus to 36 from 131 confirmed cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. The United Nations health agency said a written statement on Friday that the four deaths were from cases that had already been identified in laboratories. It said here had been no new cases of infection with H7N9 Since May 8. The WHO reiterated that there was no evidence that the new strain of bird flu, which was first detected in patients in China in March, was passing easily from human to human. If such a feature emerged it could spark a pandemic. But it said: “Until the source of infection has been identified and controlled, it is expected that there will be further cases of human infection with the virus.” The WHO said that Chinese health authorities had continued with enhanced surveillance, epidemiological investigations, close contact tracing, clinical management, laboratory testing and sharing of samples as well as prevention and control measures. The number of new cases has dwindled in some provinces and operations.

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China reports 4 more bird flu deaths

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Four more people in China have died from a new strain of bird flu, bringing the number of deaths from the mysterious H7N9 virus to 31, with the number of infections rising by two to 129, according to Chinese health authorities.

Among the deaths, two occurred in the eastern province of Jiangsu; one was from eastern Zhejiang; while another was from central Anhui, based on a Reuters analysis of the data provided by Chinese health authorities on Monday.

The government did not provide more details of the victims.

Chinese health authorities said two new infections were reported in the eastern coastal province of Fujian. The virus, which was mostly concentrated in the region around the commercial capital of Shanghai, spread to Fujian in late April.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) has said it has no evidence that the new strain of bird flu, which was first detected in patients in China in March, is easily transmissible between humans.

Chinese scientists have confirmed that the H7N9 strain has been transmitted to humans from chickens. But the WHO has said 40 percent of people infected with H7N9 appear to have had no contact with poultry.

The head of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the current strain of bird flu cannot spark a pandemic in its current form – but he added that there is no guarantee it will not mutate and cause a serious pandemic.

Voice of Russia, Reuters

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