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Beijing ‘Downgrades’ H7N9 Bird Flu Description as New Cases Spike

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posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 08:58 AM

China has reportedly downgraded H7N9 bird flu in humans, dropping its description as “infectious” in new guidelines on how to deal with the disease, even as new cases spike with the onset of winter.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission described it as a “communicable acute respiratory disease” in its 2014 diagnosis and treatment protocols.

In the 2013 version it was considered as an “infectious disease”.

The Beijing Times on Monday quoted an unnamed Beijing disease control centre official saying that health authorities decided to “make the downgrade” on the basis that nearly a year of analysis had shown H7N9 was “not strongly infectious”.

Beijing ‘Downgrades’ H7N9 Bird Flu Description as New Cases Spike

101 new H7N9 bird flu cases appeared in the past 25 days in January 2014 - for a total of 252 cases. So of course, after the last weekend surge, China downgraded the H7N9 bird flu description from "infectious" to "communicable." Amidst calls in China for increased vigilance, while bird flu monitoring at customs is being stepped up, after Hong Kong suspended live chicken imports for three weeks (again), and poultry markets are being shut down ahead of New Year festival celebrations. The stated reason is that there is no proof of sustained H7N9 bird flu human-to-human transmission. Go figure.

Is it all about the money? And trade? Ya think?

Bird Flu Spreads Rapidly in China This Year

China 'downgrades' description of H7N9 bird flu

China says no proof of constant H7N9 bird flu human-to-human

China steps up bird flu monitoring at customs

Hong Kong suspends live chicken imports for three weeks

China calls for more efforts against H7N9
Ahead of "Year of the Horse" celebrations, China gears up precautions to prevent and control the H7N9 bird flu epidemic in the country.

...Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu Yandong called on Monday for further precautions to prevent and control the H7N9 bird flu epidemic in the country.

…In 2013, China had 144 cases, including 46 deaths, from H7N9 bird flu, according to figures from the Commission.
She urged for strengthening epidemic surveillance and early warnings on all infectious diseases, during the Spring Festival holiday, which is expected to attract people to the large cities.

…"China will strengthen monitoring on live poultry, continue vaccine research and development, tighten international communication and cooperation in epidemic prevention and control, and publicize disease information in a timely manner," said Liu.

Vice-Premier Calls for Efforts to Fight H7N9

Poultry markets shut down amid H7N9 bird flu fears

edit on 27/1/14 by soficrow because: tnkr

posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 08:05 PM
reply to post by soficrow

It seems like an attempt to counteract some drop off in tourist numbers (money). I think you are on to something here.
This is one issue I pay close attention to because I live in the middle of a tourist mecca. A pandemic would affect areas like mine first.

B, S&F

edit on 27-1-2014 by tanda7 because: eta

posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 08:51 AM
reply to post by tanda7

Thanks - and yes, tourism is a biggie plus - HK is a business and marketing hub and - China's poultry industry is worth gazillions (that's an accepted economic term)(
). China is "between the devil and the deep blue sea" - dammed if they do, dammed if they don't - if H7N9 spreads in people they lose their tourist industry, if it spreads in chickens they lose their poultry industry. If it spreads in both they are well and truly fubarred.

Today's H7N9 news...

Hong Kong to Cull 20,000 Chickens After Detecting Bird Flu
China halts poultry trading after new H7N9 cases

Poultry trading halted in eastern China after new H7N9 cases

Authorities in eastern China announced a ban Tuesday on live poultry sales. The move followed an increase in the number of people infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu. The virus has killed 19 people in China so far this year out of 96 infections, AP quoted Feng Zijian, the deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as saying. More than 50 cases had been reported a week ago, and most cases have been linked to contact with poultry. The jump in cases comes during the 40-day travel period around Chinese New Year.

Human deaths, cases of H7N9 avian flu on rise in China

posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 11:40 AM
More fun H7N9 factoids.

January 29, 2014 Chinese family of three infected with H7N9

January 27, 2014China confirms limited interhuman infection of H7N9 bird flu

Bird flu costs China's farmers 20 bln

Analysis of new H7N9 wave warns of coinfection threat

...Though ongoing H7N9 influenza activity in China—with eight new cases reported today—is mainly a zoonotic event, its parallel rise with seasonal flu poses a virus reassortment threat, according to a new assessment today from European health officials.

...Though the H7N9 virus doesn't appear to have the capacity for efficient human-to-human spread, new reassortants with seasonal flu strains could arm it with the ability to transmit more easily, a situation that bears close monitoring, the organization added.

Seasonal flu activity is at high levels and still increasing in China, with all three strains circulating, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in its global flu update. In southern China the dominant strains are H3N2 and the 2009 H1N1 virus, while the northern part is seeing mainly 2009 H1N1.

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