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Nine More Cases Of Avian Influenza Reported In China: WHO

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday it has been notified by China's National Health and Family Planning Commission of nine new laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

WHO said seven of the nine cases were males with ages ranging from 29 to 81 years. The cases were reported from the provinces of Anhui (1), Hunan (2), Jilin (1) and Guangdong (5).

While one subject died, six are in a critical condition, one is in a severe condition and one is in a stable condition. Six subjects are reported to have had a history of exposure to live poultry. Investigations are ongoing, the UN agency said.

WHO said the Chinese government is continuing to take strict monitoring, prevention and control measures, including strengthening epidemic surveillance and analysis; deployment of medical treatment; conducting public risk communication and information dissemination; strengthening international collaboration and communication; and continuing to carry out scientific research.

The agency noted reports of A/H7N9 virus being detected in live poultry imported from the mainland China into Hong Kong. But the agency stressed that there is currently no indication that international spread of H7N9 has occurred through humans or animals.

The agency urged travelers to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza to avoid poultry farms, or contact with animals in live bird markets, or entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, or contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with faeces from poultry or other animals. The UN agency also urged travelers to wash their hands often with soap and water, and to follow good food safety as well as good food hygiene practices.

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