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Monday, 19 January 2009

The Chinese authorities are scrambling to prevent an outbreak of bird flu after three reported cases in the last two weeks.

China moves to prevent bird flu pandemic
article in the Telegraph


"Hundreds of millions of Chinese are preparing to travel home during Chinese New Year this weekend, and the authorities are concerned that the world's biggest human migration could help spread the disease further.

After not reporting a single human death from bird flu since 2003, the last two weeks have seen three cases in three separate provinces. The Agriculture Ministry said it was moving quickly to quarantine anyone who came into contact with the victims.

"As the Spring Festival approaches, there are frequent movements of poultry products and the risk rises of virus outbreaks and transmission," the ministry said in a statement. "We have already asked the relevant provinces to strengthen their bird flu prevention work," it added.

The first victim was a 19-year-old woman, Huang Yanqing, who lived in Beijing. She became ill with the H2N1 virus in December after eating a contaminated duck that was traced to Jinxian County in Tianjin, in North China.

After Miss Huang died on January 5 the Chinese authorities quarantined 200 people who had come into contact with her. They were all subsequently cleared."

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