CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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WHO says China need not Panic Over Bird Flu Epidemic

WHO Comments Bird Flu Virus in China.

(Photo : Getty Images. ) The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday commented that at present there are less chances of Bird Flu epidemic spreading across China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of an immediate bird flu epidemic in China as it claimed that the sustained human-to-human transmission of H7N9 virus remains relatively low.   

But the WHO also said cautiously that worrying surge in human cases requires a constant monitoring of the situation in China.

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China has witnessed a surge in the bird flu cases since October last year, with death toll numbers alarmingly crossing over 100 and well over 400 people have been reportedly inflected by the H7N9 virus. These numbers tell a distributing reality that every third person infected by the Bird Flu virus in China has succumbed to death.

However, China is not the only country to be hit by the latest H7N9 virus. The neighbouring countries such as Japan, South Korea as well as several countries in Asia and African region have witnessed surge in bird flu symptoms among its citizens.  

The alarming situation forced the flu specialists to gather at the WHO headquarters in Geneva this week to take a stock of the global influenza situation and discuss with vaccine companies which viral strains should they be targeting in next winter's flu shots.

The new bird flu strain in China has been mostly found in the birds, which has left the domestic poultry industry completely vulnerable. The industry is already reeling under immense pressure following Chinese authorities order to temporarily close down several poultry markets in the sensitive region.

According to reports, hordes of chicken sellers, who have been especially hit hard by the temporary ban, have already started selling chickens in the black market. However, the Chinese authorities have been little sympathetic towards the poultry community as they justify their tough stance, claiming that most patients have caught the virus directly from birds.

Dr. Wenqing Zhang, head of the W.H.O.'s global influenza program, said that there have been only a few cases where virus has spread from victim to the family member, claiming that there is no direct evidence of "sustained human-to-human transmission."

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